Thinking of starting a business in the dairy state? Even if you’re not in the dairy industry, there are plenty of exciting prospects for entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin. And while entrepreneurs are an independent sort, you don’t have to go it alone.
From free small-business counseling sessions to organizations helping lift up women-owned businesses to networking groups and so much more, Wisconsin has a wealth of tools that can help any entrepreneur find success. Let’s discuss the best small-business resources in Wisconsin, and talk about how they can help your business reach the next level.
Business can be daunting, especially when you’re just starting out. Most entrepreneurs (or at least the successful ones) enlist the help of a mentor. At SCORE, you can get yourself connected with a mentor in your industry, attend workshops, and utilize unique (free) resources.
The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center is a state-wide organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs succeed. From funding for new businesses to networking, QuickBooks seminars, and every place in between, the Wisconsin SBDC has assistance for everyone. They’ll even chat with you about your business idea and help you determine if it’s worth the investment or not.
There are 13 locations across the state, mostly located on the campuses of the University of Wisconsin. You can find your local center here.
Female-owned businesses are growing stronger by the day, and Wisconsin has plenty of resources for women who are seeking to join them. From leadership conferences to good old-fashioned camaraderie, here are a few of our favorite resources:
WWE is a thriving, supportive network for female entrepreneurs in southeast Wisconsin. As a member, you’ll enjoy opportunities to join Mastermind groups in your industry, hone your presentation skills, and much more. Membership costs $125 per year ($50 for student members).
WBON, based in Winneconne, believes that the best women’s group is one where members support each other—no competition, just collaboration and mutual inspiration. To that end, they offer regular luncheons that enable you to foster meaningful, rewarding relationships.
Technically speaking, WWBIC assists all entrepreneurs in the state, but they’re especially interested in helping women, minorities, and other disadvantaged groups. They offer start-up resources, funding, and assistance in strengthening your business’s finances, too.
Meetups are a great way to expand your network of business relationships through casual gatherings of like-minded professionals. We picked out three of our favorite Wisconsin-based Meetup groups that can provide stimulating conversation and valuable connections with fellow Wisconsin entrepreneurs.
Located in Brookfield, Wisconsin Business Owners gives you a casual opportunity to meet with fellow entrepreneurs once a month for “Lunch and Learn.” This public group has nearly 3,000 members, so you’ll probably find someone whose interests are similar to yours, too.
This Milwaukee network is sponsored by Mil Made Group LLC, but events only cost $5.00 and up, and there are no membership commitments. This 400-member group gives you plenty of opportunities to practice your elevator pitch, your mutual opportunities, and much more.
Let’s Network’s goal is simple—to help local business owners connect, share ideas, and have some good-natured fun together. Their membership policy is completely open, too.
Blogs and Publications
As an entrepreneur, it’s important to keep abreast of the latest trends and advancements. That helps you innovate and adapt to the unique challenges you’ll face each day, month, and year. Plus, it’s always intriguing to learn what businesses in other industries are doing.
Here are a few outlets that you can keep tabs on in Wisconsin:
This Milwaukee-based publication covers any business-related news you can think of. They cover over a dozen industries, from food and beverage to financial institutions and every business in between. They also feature rising business stars in the area.
InBusiness features a wide variety of content, from articles about local business happenings and up-and-coming business pros. One of the most interesting sections is the collection of blogs, covering areas like social business, transportation, law at work, and more.
Business goes a lot deeper than dairy in Wisconsin, and sometimes it can be a bit complicated. Whether you’re starting your first business or you’re a seasoned entrepreneur with years of experience, the resources in this guide can help take your business to the next level.
If you need more resources in Wisconsin — like advice about coworking spaces, information about lawyers or accountants, where to find the best business schools, or how to contact your local Chamber of Commerce — take a look at the other helpful articles we’ve compiled for assistance in this state.