Small Business Month is drawing to a close, but plenty of free tools are available throughout the year to help launch and grow a company.
Here is a list of free resources for small businesses to access funding, information, management tools, mentors, and more. There are tools and resources from the government, private agencies, support organizations, educational outlets, and social networks.
Free Resources for Small Businesses
U.S. Small Business Administration, created in 1953, helps small business owners and entrepreneurs start, grow, or recover a business. SBA is the only cabinet-level agency dedicated to small companies, providing loan and microloan programs and resources. It’s also a learning platform to discover entrepreneurial tactics and available financing options.
Small Business Development Centers are local facilities that provide counseling and training to small businesses, offering informational tools such as programs through the SBA. An SBDC can help a small business access capital, develop and exchange new technologies, improve planning, and more.
State Trade Expansion Program provides SBA financial awards via state and territory governments to help small businesses cover costs associated with entering and expanding into international markets.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocates for its members, including small businesses and local chambers of commerce. The site features on-demand videos on topics impacting businesses and a weekly forecast, summarizing the latest data and what it means for the health of America’s small companies.
SCORE is a network of business mentors to help entrepreneurs start, grow, or successfully exit a business. SCORE provides free mentoring, resources, and education in all U.S. states and offers live recurring webinars and on-demand interactive courses.
Grants.gov stores information on over 1,000 grant programs from federal agencies. Download the Grants.gov mobile app to search and submit on the go.
Minority Business Development Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is the only federal agency dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority enterprises. MBDA centers offer one-on-one financial counseling.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs supports veteran-owned small businesses, including certification through the Vets First Verification program. Certified small businesses can access priority bidding for federal and state agencies, tax relief, and educational resources.
National Women’s Business Council is a federal advisory committee that recommends issues of importance to women business owners. It hosts public meetings and weekly webinars to help female owners, connecting them with advocates.
National Association for the Self-Employed provides various benefits at a discount, including legal assistance and investment services.
IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center provides resources for small businesses with assets under $10 million. Get forms, information, and online courses. Access the IRS video portal, a small business tax worksheet, and tools for tax professionals.
LinkedIn provides resources for small business owners to develop their professional networks and grow their companies. Explore resources for small businesses, including free LinkedIn Learning Courses, virtual events, small business live streams, and the “Big Trends in Small Biz” newsletter. Use the Action Plan for Small Businesses to start growing your LinkedIn presence.
MeetUp is a free app to discover and follow local groups and networking events in your area. Save events, find and track contacts, and send direct messages.
Google Business Profile helps people find your business on Google Search and Maps. Add information such as your phone number, operating hours, and health and safety measures. Personalize your profile with photos, offers, posts, and more.
Nav is an app that provides small businesses with curated financing options from over 160 partners and tools. Find out what you qualify for before applying. Nav provides a customized shortlist of the best options for loans, credit cards, checking accounts, business formation services, and insurance.
MIT OpenCourseWare offers materials from over 2,500 courses at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, including courses in entrepreneurship. Learn from MIT’s rich history of entrepreneurial innovation, such as A123 Systems, Akamai, iRobot, InVivo Therapeutics, and Dropbox.
Coursera partners with more than 275 universities and companies for online learning. Coursera offers free courses on topics relevant to small businesses, including private equity, negotiation skills, and content marketing.
Alison is a free learning app that provides access to over 4,000 free accredited courses with certification. Example courses include business management and leadership, entrepreneurship, management systems, conflict management, customer service, risk assessment, human resources, and more. New courses are added weekly.