7 Best Business Communities For Founders and Business Owners

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey.

I know, I’ve felt it myself.

In addition to being a life of endless uncertainty, it can be difficult to find solid advice for our non-traditional situations.

Good news though is that there are some great communities out there that can help. Camaraderie, understanding, advice, and support.

I’ve been a part of a couple of dozen of these in my entrepreneurial career, and I’m here to share with you my favorites of the group. So, which are the top business communities?

My List of the Top-Rated Business Communities:

  1. The Snowball Club
  2. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)
  3. Business Network International (BNI)
  4. Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)
  5. Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)
  6. Vistage
  7. Alignable
  8. Flying Solo

1. Snowball Club

Snowball business community

Snowball is a business community for entrepreneurial-investors. It’s a group (mostly) made up of founders who experienced success before starting to move more towards an investing focus. Because it’s not for beginners, you’ll find high-level discussion about a wide range of topics. From wealth-building and well-being, to AI and health, to growing companies and investing in private market deals.

Investors and Startup Builders

The Snowball Club is especially useful if you’re into growing your wealth after succeeding in the startup world. You’ll find discussion and exploration into unique asset classes like micro private equity, investing in SMBs, private credit, and DeFi. This wealth of insights is pure gold for entrepreneurs and business owners interested in alternative forms of investment and multiple streams of income.

Their members are passionate about building real wealth, not just getting rich. This is why discussion is founded on values of health and productivity, and embracing continuous learning and constructive feedback.

The community has a no-nonsense policy: it’s not for beginners. Geoff, the community’s “chief rainmaker”, personally connects with potential members to ensure a good fit before accepting. It’s one of the best communities where sharing and support are the norms, and every member is both a teacher and a learner.

Here’s what you get when you join:

  • Engaged hand picked digital community
  • Weekly curated deal flow (the group invests in deals together)
  • Exclusive offers from fellow members
  • Educational sessions with expert guests
  • A relaxed atmosphere of just sharing interesting things.

Pricing

Snowball is $300 per quarter.

2. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)

Founded in 1987 by a visionary group of 22 entrepreneurs, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) has evolved into a global network fostering personal and professional growth.

It’s a place for seven figure business owners to share their value and wisdom, and aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from more experienced people.

EO is a community where experiences and challenges are shared, creating a nurturing environment for growth. Their focus on social entrepreneurship underscores a dedication to meaningful business practices, resonating with community members who seek to make a positive impact.

For those with a business crossing the million-dollar threshold, EO is a treasure trove of resources. Paid membership opens doors to confidential meetings with peers, where the combination of accountability and support propels your business forward.

Imagine diving into forums, global events, and thrilling adventures, all while rubbing shoulders with successful professionals.

And it’s not just smalltalk with tech startup founders either. Here’s what sets EO apart:

  • Unparalleled networking and learning opportunities.
  • Educational programs with a blend of high-quality resources and shared experiences, fostering both personal and professional growth.
  • A VIP access to over 30 top-tier hospitals in the US, ensuring health is never a hindrance to success.
  • Avenues to hone skills through local committees, global advisory roles, and board positions.

To join EO, prospective members must be invited, hold a significant ownership stake, and meet specific financial thresholds. For traditional businesses, this means crossing the $1 million revenue mark. Venture-backed companies face different criteria, including funding milestones and employee count.

Pricing

The initiation fee stands at $2,500, with an annual cost of $2,470 – a small price for the immense value EO promises to bring to your entrepreneurial journey.

3. Business Network International (BNI)

Business Network International (BNI) was founded with the mission to forge meaningful connections among other business owners, BNI excels in creating avenues for valuable relationships that transcend mere transactions.

Spanning over 70 countries and embracing more than 280,000 members, BNI is irreplaceable for those seeking a global reach with a local touch. Its structured marketing program is designed for finding new clients and nurturing lasting customer relationships, increasing both retention and lifetime value.

BNI’s brings together members in both virtual and in-person local chapters. Here, long-term relationships are the currency, enabling members to collaborate effectively, generating more sales while minimizing effort and cost.

Successful business ventures are about mutual growth – professionally and personally – within a community that values each member’s success as its own.

BNI stands out as:

  • A community that’s committed to mutual success and fostering enduring bonds, with opportunities for discovering seasoned private investors.
  • An expansive referral marketing network, spanning over 10,000 chapters globally.
  • A library of exclusive educational resources, including courses, videos, and podcasts, tailored to sharpen your business acumen and networking prowess.

To become a part of this influential network, your first step is to immerse yourself in a chapter meeting. Find your potential referral partners, and let the membership committee guide you through the application process.

Pricing

The entry into BNI’s world of opportunities comes at an initiation cost of $199, with an annual fee of $599.

4. Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO)

Founded in 1950 by Ray Hickok in Rochester, New York, the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) has grown into a global community, dedicated to nurturing the next generation of business leaders.

YPO’s ethos revolves around education and world-class leadership training. The organization thrives on its unique structure of local chapters, known as forums, where members engage and share insights and experiences. Additionally, mass conferences provide avenues to connect with mentors and industry experts, broadening the horizons for its members.

Being a part of YPO means joining a diverse tapestry of individuals from over 140 countries. The network is an opportunity to dive into the latest industry insights and participate in networking events, all geared toward shaping better leaders.

The YPO experience includes:

  • Regular meetings with other business owners provides a platform to learn from influential young CEOs and gain valuable insights.
  • A network of over 25,000 members support mutual assistance and growth.
  • Programs to enhance family unity, ensuring leaders don’t overlook their personal lives.
  • Access to online tools and 40 virtual interest-based communities, enhancing connectivity with peers globally.

YPO is exclusive to young leaders up to 45 years old, holding titles like President, CEO, or equivalent.

The organization sets specific benchmarks for employee count and annual revenue or enterprise value, varying across industries.

Pricing

Membership involves a one-time initiation fee of $3,975, matched by an annual fee of the same amount. Additional costs apply for conferences and special activities.

5. Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO)

Established in 1997 by Marsha Firestone, the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) is a non-profit that unites women at the helm of companies, fostering an environment where shared insights and discussions on business topics thrive.

At its core, WPO revolves around the principles of Collaboration, Confidentiality, Commitment, and Connections. With 142 chapters worldwide, the organization offers monthly local meetings, creating confidential spaces that empower and educate women leading multi-million dollar enterprises.

Each chapter, guided by a professionally trained facilitator, maintains a dynamic atmosphere conducive to growth. Around 20 women from various industries and backgrounds come together, sharing their experiences and expertise to tackle business challenges and accelerate growth.

WPO excels as:

  • A safe space where business topics can be discussed openly and confidentially.
  • A prime institution in increasing the visibility and influence of women entrepreneurs and presidents, thus empowering women globally.
  • A portal to unique events designed for personal and professional development.

To join WPO, women must be presidents of companies with annual revenues of at least $2 million ($1 million for service-based businesses). There are five membership levels, each catering to different stages of business success:

  • Platinum Group: For women generating over $10 million annually.
  • Chapter Member: Women leading businesses with specified annual revenues.
  • Zenith Group: Tailored for women with annual revenues exceeding $50 million.
  • Member-at-Large: Similar criteria as Chapter Members, for those unable to access local chapters.
  • Alumna Member: For retired, former Chapter Members.

Pricing

WPO offers a tiered membership structure:

  • Platinum Group: $5,400/year
  • Chapter Member: $2,000/year
  • Zenith Group: $5,900/year
  • Member-at-Large: $900/year
  • Alumna Member: $900/year

6. Vistage

Vistage is a community for CEOs who are keen on honing their decision-making and critical thinking skills.

With a presence in over 20 countries, they offer a suite of seven distinct programs, each meticulously crafted to drive sustainable growth and professional development.

Tailored to fit various business roles, from Chief Executives to Trusted Advisors, Vistage’s programs provide plenty of learning opportunities. These include peer advisory board meetings, one-on-one sessions with executive coaches, and enlightening presentations from industry experts.

For those on a leadership trajectory, the Advancing Leader and Emerging Leader programs are particularly beneficial, offering workshops, group meetings, and practical on-the-job learning experiences to refine leadership skills and elevate professional capabilities.

Membership in Vistage isn’t just about attending meetings.

It’s an investment in your future business growth. As a member, you’ll gain access to a platform that fosters growth, with Vistage member companies often outperforming their peers in the market.

Vistage offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Access to webinars and live events, providing invaluable industry insights.
  • Personalized coaching sessions, designed to nurture effective and collaborative leadership styles and enhance organizational effectiveness.
  • Connections with over 23,000 world-class business leaders through local and national events, as well as virtual meetings on Vistage’s platform.

Vistage is exclusive to Presidents, Key Executives, CEOs, or business owners meeting specific revenue criteria (ranging from $1 million to $1 billion in the last fiscal year). Startups aren’t included in this program.

Pricing

The financial commitment to join Vistage includes a one-time initiation fee of $2,250 and an annual cost of $10,500. This investment opens the door to a world of growth, learning, and networking, setting the stage for unparalleled business success.

7. Alignable

Alignable is a vibrant, cost-free networking community, specifically tailored for US-based entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Boasting over 7 million members, most with their own businesses, this community is the digital town square where business connections flourish and opportunities abound.

Registration on Alignable is straightforward and free, allowing you to craft a business profile that becomes your virtual handshake. Once set up, the platform enables you to engage with peers in your locality or those in similar industries. This is where like-minded professionals meet, fostering relationships based on trust and mutual benefit, crucial for any business’s growth.

The platform can also be a great spotlight for your business.

Your participation and assistance within the community can translate into recommendations from other members, boosting your business’s visibility. This word-of-mouth endorsement is a powerful tool, often leading to fresh leads and valuable referrals.

But Alignable’s offerings extend beyond networking. The platform is rich with resources designed to hone your business acumen. From a learning center replete with articles and tutorials to insightful newsletters and webinars, the knowledge imparted here is practical and directly applicable to managing and growing your business.

Alignable’s vast range of benefits includes:

  • Opportunities to enhance your business’s exposure. A well-crafted profile on Alignable can lead to endorsements and referrals, amplifying your reach.
  • Leveraging the wealth of knowledge available through webinars and the learning center, equipping yourself with the skills needed to navigate the business landscape successfully.
  • Discovering and connecting with fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, building relationships that transcend the digital space.

Pricing

Membership at Alignable is free on their Explorer plan.

They also have two premium plans offering additional perks such as connection credits, profile analytics, and premium support:

  • Regional Plan: $30/year.
  • Regional Plan: $90/year.

8. Flying Solo

Flying Solo is a vibrant, supportive community aimed at solopreneurs and small businesses. It’s home to over 100,000 members who embody the spirit of independent business.

This platform is a treasure trove for those embarking on solo ventures, offering a wealth of resources and forums for meaningful discourse and business development knowledge.

Registration is free, granting you access to an expansive realm where like-minded individuals discuss critical aspects of running small businesses. From marketing strategies to financial management, technology updates, and beyond, Flying Solo’s forums buzz with conversations pertinent to the solo entrepreneur’s journey.

Beyond the forums, Flying Solo enriches its members with a podcast, brimming with insights, and an array of articles and guides. These resources are tailored to expand your knowledge and equip you with the tools needed for people to flourish as small business owners.

Joining the Flying Solo online community means:

  • Access to forums covering essential business topics, from technology and marketing to finance, offering a well-rounded perspective on managing a solo venture.
  • A plethora of articles and topics, covering all you need to know to kickstart your business.

Pricing

Membership at Flying Solo is free on their Starter tier. For those seeking a more immersive experience, Flying Solo’s premium membership opens doors to exclusive events and experiences. This Business Class tier includes a spot in the small business directory, offering increased visibility.

Moreover, the “Spotlight” feature presents a unique opportunity to share your business story, amplifying your voice in a community that values each member’s journey.

Members of the Business Class plan get access to the reputable “Going It Alone” digital course as well.

Your Turn

It’s clear that the journey of entrepreneurship doesn’t have to be a solitary one. Each of these online communities offers unique benefits, resources, and connections.

By joining one (or more) of these groups as a business owner, you gain more than contacts – you become part of a collective journey towards championship and fulfillment in the business world.

So, take the plunge. Explore these communities, find your fit, and embark on a journey of growth, collaboration, and success.

Updated: April 11, 2024

Jay Maverick

Jay Maverick

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Small Businesses

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