Becoming a member of any organization is one of the easiest ways in which to promote your business and connect yourself with the community. Regardless of what industry your business is in, there is probably an organization that would help you enhance your skills. Joining organizations such as local chambers of commerce and industry-specific organizations helps you learn about new resources, enhance your business skills and even find new customer bases. Here are a few of the organizations in Illinois that you should consider.
Small Business Advisory Council (SBAC)
Founded in 2010, the Small Business Advisory Council operates with a mission to assist small business owners through education, political advocacy and more. The organization currently has over 1,000 members, and hosts many events each month. Along with educational opportunities, SBAC members also have access to office sharing and the SBAC Marketplace. Memberships start at $35 a month depending on the tier.
Since 2012, 1871 has been offering educational opportunities, networking and other services to tech companies in the Chicago area. The organization's website states, "Since , it has become the hub for the city's thriving technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Today 1871 is the home of more than 400 early-stage, high-growth digital startups." 1871 offers classes, lectures and other educational opportunities to help tech startups thrive, and it is a place in which entrepreneurs can connect with one another to compare successes and lessons learned. Memberships range in pricing depending on the level, and start at $250 a month, though shared memberships are also available.
Professional Women's Club of Chicago
Aimed at providing women with resources to enhance their personal and professional growth, Professional Women's Club of Chicago connects businesswomen of all types. Its luncheons cover a wide variety of topics, allowing people from all facets of business to learn from each other's experiences. The organization also allows members to network, provide and receive mentorship and enhance their business skills. It's also a fun way to meet new people and socialize. Memberships range from $185 to $2,500 annually depending on the level.
Black Public Relations Society of Chicago (BPRS)
Founded in 1984, the Black Public Relations Society of Chicago is an organization that gives African American public relations professionals the opportunity to network, find job opportunities, attend seminars and enhance their communication skills. Its events, blog posts and other membership perks are great for building new careers in public relations or enhancing existing skills. Memberships range from a $20 student membership to a $100 board level membership. Professional memberships are an excellent method of marketing your business and making important contacts. Along with those listed above, there are many more associations available in the Chicago area.
This article was written by Alaina Brandenburger for CBS Small Business Pulse.
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