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Updated: Dec 9, 2019
Female entrepreneurs are smashing the glass ceiling in Miami faster than anywhere in the country. The Miami Herald recently reported that the State of Florida ranked #1 in the country for the growth of businesses owned by women. Not only this, but that “the Miami metropolitan area led the state in growth as well, and the Miami area ranked No. 3 in the nation for the number of women-owned firms.” In fact, Miami has nearly half of the female-led businesses in the State.
However, the report that the Herald cites also points out that many of these businesses are just getting started—most of these businesses appear to only have 1 employee, or they only hire contractors. This hints at the difficulties that still persist in this southernmost metropolis; it can still be hard to find the resources, networks and small business loans for women.
However, even though this group is growing faster than anywhere, there still seems to be a lack of organizations and resources solely dedicated to Miami’s female entrepreneurs (there’s still some catchup to be done with Los Angeles and Chicago). Still, we decided to aggregate a list of the resources that are dedicated to women and those more general. We hope that female-specific sources can be added to this list soon.
The Florida Department of Management Services has a specialized team called the Office of Supplier Diversity. It’s meant to assist female-owned businesses (as well as minority and veteran-owned businesses) with getting state certification, advocacy, and provides outreach for specific business needs.
SCORE is a nationwide nonprofit that offers consulting, workshops, and mentoring for free. SCORE Miami Dade offers mentorship program and expert resources to entrepreneurs and small business owners looking to grow their business. Miami-Dade chapter’s network of more than 100 business professionals.
The YWSE is a national non-profit organization focused on promoting young women’s leadership skills. They help provide resources for training, networking opportunities, and peer support. The YWSE Miami Facebook page is a solid way of staying up to date with the group’s activities.
Miamidade.gov has a useful directory for grants and educational assistance that the county offers, such as the Mom and Pop Business Grant, aid in greening a small business, and peer support groups.
With the majority of its member base in Miami, Badass Businesswomen was started by Jessica Kizorek. Focused on relationship building, this organization creates incubator events, hosts conferences and parties, and provides professional training.
Though this non-profit isn’t only directed at women, it’s a powerful community for tech and entrepreneurial startups. Community events and a network of 9,000 members (And 20,000 followers) make this a worthwhile organization to check out.
NAWBO is an international organization founded in 1975 by a group of female business owners who lobbied successfully for the Women’s Business Act, which ended the requirement of a man’s co-signature on a business loan or personal mortgage. The group offers a membership program with access to directories, a newsletter, and political advocacy.
The Women Innovating Now Lab is a residency program that focuses on empowering women by equipping them with the tools needed to pursue their entrepreneurial goals. Year-long stints help women in the early phases of their development, from ideation to launch.
Started by Susan Amat, Venture Hive offers grants and programs that help cultivate innovation and recruitment. Using an educational model, Venture Hive provides in-depth courses and access to a global network of entrepreneurs.
A national organization that will be launching a Miami chapter in October 2016, Endeavor is a non-profit that provides consulting services and panels that aim to accelerate businesses at every stage of their life-cycle.
The FLWBC is the result of a partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. The group is a resource center in South Florida dedicated to the individual professional development of women that provides management and technical assistance. They host special workshops on subjects such as financial literacy and social media.
100 Women Who Care was started in Michigan in 2006, and the Miami-Dade chapter recently opened. A membership organization of passionate community leaders, the chapters consist of come together to raise money for different charities, such as children’s cancer research and initiatives for preventing gun violence. The group meets once a quarter to vote on a new charity to raise funds for, and offers a chance to network for a good cause.
Radical Partners is a “social impact accelerator” that helps grow organizations that address the needs of the community. Focused on ventures that have a positive social impact, the group provides workshops and bootcamps for things like media training, pitch practice, and social entrepreneurship.
A “creative campus for entrepreneurs” in the heart of Wynwood, The LAB Miami goes beyond your traditional coworking space. The space offers a chance to connect with other startups across verticals, and a number of perks: kitchen services, a bike share, tech support, and more.
A member of the group Code for America, Code for Miami is a group of self-described civic hackers hell-bent on coding to create positive social change. This group advocates for open data so that it can be developed into apps and shared resources.
D.G.I.T. is an organization that provides female and minority-owned startups with access to investors, mentors, and symposiums. Besides significant business resources, the group also does events and programs, such as Spirits and Bytes, a mixer for entrepreneurs.
A national nonprofit organization that provides affordable programs for women interested in learning web and software development, Girl Develop It Miami is run by Ibis Arrastia. The group is part of the ecosystem driving Miami toward its status as a technology hub.
FemCity Miami is a network of over 200 businesswomen that builds community through luncheons, business classes, and “Around Town” socials. With many “femcities” around the country, access to directories and a larger network is a plus.
Now in its 7th year, the Women’s Success Summit hosts presentations by leading women from Miami’s business community and offers an opportunity to network with them. Held this year from November 18-20, the conference also allows female business owners more visibility by applying to partner, exhibit, and lead sessions.
Founded by Felecia Hatcher and Derick Pearson, Blacktech Week has the goal of driving more people of color into roles as startup founders, technology executives, and engineers. The conference, held on October 2-7, 2017, will offer a platform for innovators of color.
The launch of the previously mentioned Endeavor will take place on October 22. Over 400 business leaders, entrepreneurs, and global influencers will be present at the gala being held in Wynwood.
The Annual Leadership Conference offers panels of female business leaders from the South Florida region discussing the facets of several different industries, from banking to medical to sports training equipment.
Run by Miami Herald business writer Nancy Dahlberg, The Starting Gate is a great blog for getting insight into local entrepreneurs and their newest ventures and developments. Though not exclusively focused on female entrepreneurs, Dahlburg definitely includes a lot of focus on women-led businesses.
Florida Small Business is a blog and newsletter that provides info on the basic building blocks of business. Though this publication also doesn’t focus on female entrepreneurs, it does provide valuable material about the South Florida market in particular.
The South Florida Business Journal provides in depth long reads on developments in the region’s business environment. The publication provides relevant info on local trends, looking at not only the economics of the regional market, but also the cultures of the businesses.
Samantha Novick is a senior editor at Funding Circle, specializing in small business financing. She has a bachelor's degree from the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. Prior to Funding Circle, Samantha was a community manager at Marcus by Goldman Sachs. Her work has been featured in a number of top small business resource sites and publications.