2. Considerable networking, development and mentorship opportunities — Corresponding to the rapid growth of women-owned businesses is a dramatic uptick in the number of organizations dedicated to helping female entrepreneurs network, develop and find appropriate mentors. For example, since its start in 1989, Professional BusinessWomen of California (PBWC) has grown to more than 35,000 members worldwide. Visit pbwc.org to learn more. Additionally, nearly every sizable community in California and elsewhere has business networking and development events specifically oriented for female business owners. Some are free; others assess a fee. For a listing of events in your area, simply search online for “Women in Business Events” combined with your city name or ZIP code.

‘More than one-third (36.3 percent) of privately held businesses in the United States are now owned by women, up from 28.8 percent in 2007.’

3. Great government input and assistance — An entire division of the SBA is dedicated to women-owned businesses, offering online and in-person resources, special financing opportunities and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs). In fact, there are a dozen different WBCs throughout California; visit sba.gov’s tools section to find one near you.

As for state assistance in California, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) helps start-up and ongoing businesses of all types. Learn more at business.ca.gov.

Starting and maintaining a business can be challenging for any female entrepreneur. That’s why having access to great resources is so important. For more advice and information, please visit California Bank & Trust’s Business Resource Center.

California Bank & Trust is a proud sponsor of women and California businesses. Our knowledgeable bankers are happy to help you with any of your needs. For more information, please call (800) 355-0507 or visit www.calbanktrust.com

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