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The economy has had its ups and downs, but millions of Americans are still confident enough to be starting their own companies, according to new data from Babson College. Small businesses are finding it easier to take out loans from local banks among other positive signs.

 

Before you quit your day job hoping to launch the enterprise you’ve always dreamed about owning, however, it would be smarter to first develop the skills you’ll need for your idea to be successful. If you live in Philadelphia, a uniquely abundant number of resources to assist in the small business development process that are available.Top Business Development Resources for Budding Entrepreneurs in Philly


SCORE


Score, a nationwide organization, offers its services to those in the Philly area who are interested in going into business. Its mission is to provide mentoring programs that help in the process of getting new businesses off the ground. SCORE goes well beyond offering workshops and general advice on their website. It links prospective entrepreneurs with mentors who provide real life guidance based on their own experience creating business plans and making them real.


City of Philadelphia Business Services


National and state government agencies are some of the last markets companies consider selling into when getting started. You don’t have to be Lockheed Martin or AT&T, however, to win government contracts. You just have to familiarize yourself with the certification steps that are necessary to do so, which might seem complex, but the City of Philadelphia Business Services is part of the local government, so they’re particularly knowledgeable about what it takes. They also provide extensive assistance with issues such as tax preparation and bidding for state contracts.


Girl Develop It


If you’re a young woman interested in launching a business that’s tech driven, Girl Develop It is ready to assist. It’s nonprofit, so the programs they offer to women looking to hone software and web development skills they weren’t able to in formal school settings, are game changers for many. Students who've completed online degrees may enjoy attending GDI workshops that sell out quickly. They’re affordable, popular and draw women of diverse backgrounds. 163,000 members participate in their programs, not only in Philly but around the U.S. It’s a superb network.


StartupPHL


StartupPHL is an organization run jointly by the local Department of Commerce and a community non profit economic development corporation known as Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC). StartupPHL strives to stimulate the tech economy and culture in Philly, so this is where you come when you’re an early stage tech company seeking seed money.


Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia


The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia spreads awareness about green business. It's actually made up of a variety of small companies around the Philly area invested in doing business in a green friendly way. A partnership of organizations already engaging in sustainable business practices that are ecologically responsible and good for the environment, it's got a distinctive mission. Those interested in adopting green policies and practices can benefit from the many programs and resources made available here.


The Women’s Business Development Center


The Women’s Business Development Center first opened in 1995. Women who want to start and run their own businesses will find an array of help here. The center assists both those already operating small ventures of their own as well as those who are just considering the idea. The assistance offered includes everything from workshops led by panels of experts to classes you can participate in online.

 

It takes heart to go out on your own instead of working for someone else because the risks are so much greater. Almost everyone thinks about being their own boss at least once though, so if you’re one of them and a Philadelphian, there have never been more ways to ramp up for that moment.

 

Brett Clawson is a business owner and entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience. In his free time, he enjoys writing and learning about emerging business trends.

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