World’s Greatest SME Associations
Many, even dreamer-type, business minded people have the concept that they will never rub shoulders with companies like google, Apple or Amazon.
It’s easy to forget that the big names in our world started from a single person’s ambition. We all have to pass through individual challenges to reach our goals, and the only thing in time that determines how far we reach is the level of our commitment and vision. Saying that, the majority of people reading this blog are in the SME stage and I take it as my responsibility to help you along the way! This blog is designed to inform and reveal the World’s Greatest SME Associations so that you can get to know who your go-to business trustees are.
7. Small Business Association of Michigan
SBAM is America’s biggest statewide Small biz Association focused strictly on the well-being of Michigan based SME’s. With a core team full to the brim of business experience, SBAM provides a powerful tool for ‘economic gardening’ (creating the right climate for small businesses growth) and it’s also highly active in the political sphere, supporting SME policies in one of the strongest union states.
6. National Federation of Self Employed & Small Businesses Limited
The UK now has over 5.5million SME’s and counting. Because of the FSB, half of them are able to avoid agitating and time-consuming quarterly tax returns! This is one example of the lobby impact of an association who’s three areas of concern are 1) Commercial, 2)Networking, and 3)Policy Change.
5. Small Business Association of Australia
Though only six years old, the SBAA is certainly planning ahead for SME’s with it’s specialised thinktank set up in 2013. This led to the creation of the Small Business Charter of Australia which, at the SBAA summit in May 2017, will meet to discuss the framework for policy makers in order to create a greater innovation platform nationwide. Props to the SBAA for their national efforts!
4. National Small Business Association
Originating in 1937, the NSBA is the first SME association in the USA. It deals with government affairs in a non-partisan manner for SME’s that need attention from the top. Molly Day of the Public Affairs dept. deems the NSBA “the most member-driven association”, and she certainly needs a good argument to refute that claim given membership opportunities which go so far as to have the right to vote on the association’s priorities!
3. Ipswich and Suffolk Small Business Association
Though certainly not the largest association on this list, the ISSBA makes #2 because of its volunteer spirit. For 28 years, this unique East Anglian group has been run purely by small biz owners with the main purpose of aligning local SMB’s with the local growth strategy. In line with this they choose a new charity to support each year, this year choosing atrium studios which brings together fine artists and creative business for awesome local collaboration.
2. The Story Exchange
When you think of a business executive, your mental image may resemble a man dressed from top to bottom in Hugo Boss with a Visconti briefcase in hand. The Story Exchange exists to refute that depiction by showcasing a world of entrepreneurial womenhood through articles, podcasts and videos. Recent research surprised me as I discovered that Women’s wages are still on average 17% lower than men’s. I fully encourage you to go to their site, educate yourself and spread their story!
1. United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Hitting the bullseye at #1 is the largest independent, professional, academic organization of it’s kind; but it’s not only here for it’s size…
Are you aware of ‘ideation’? I certainly wasn’t until Executive director Patrick Snyder explained to me that “Our research shows that entrepreneurs are not simply born and raised with a business nature, anyone can create it“. Ideation is one of dozens of unique entrepreneurial concepts which USASBE (pronounced you-sas-bee) is introducing to universities to revolutionize the small business sphere much further afield than just US borders.
USASBE is also the U.S. affiliate of the International Council for Small Business, which was designed to foster global small business development, aware of it’s crucial role in the stabilization of the world economy. Knowing that America is at the center of the global economy, we can infer that USASBE is truly at the core of future small business growth, innovation and business world unification.
It’s true that the business world can be punishing, but with the world’s greatest SME associations now scribbled down on post-its in your briefcase, you can be sure to find all the support you’ll need to get to grips on obstacles such as restrictive governmental policies, motivation struggles and practical day-to-day management.
Know another association that deserves to be here? Or have an interesting experience with any of these you’d like to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the association’s contact details or comment below.