D.C. Business Meetups and Local Business Resources

For small business owners in Maryland and Virginia, Washington D.C. isn’t just the home to politicians and powerbrokers. In fact, the city and surrounding counties is a hub of entrepreneurial activity. With the largest purchaser of goods and services in the world on its doorstep (the federal government) and an affluent, highly-educated population, the opportunities for business meetups and growth are extraordinary.

We spoke with Jennifer Eddy, a strong advocate of business meetups. Jennifer is the owner and Chief Strategist of Eddy Communications a strategy and growth management consulting firm. Splitting her time between Virginia and Washington, D.C., Jenn found that meetups are a secret weapon for her business and brand:

“Small business meetup events are a great way to promote your business, network, and find local advocates who can help you grow. In addition to meeting new people and getting introduced to their network of connections, you can often participate in trainings, hear first-hand about changes to the community that will affect your business, and often you’ll meet local leaders you can call on to help when times are challenging. It’s always nerve wracking to walk into a room full of people you don’t know but the value is almost always there if you proactively look for it.”

So, are you searching for a small business meetup in the Washington D.C. metro area? We curated a short list of local business owner gatherings in and around the nation’s capital

Washington D.C. Co-Working Spaces

Co-working spaces often serve as a hub and a priceless resource for local businesses. While some companies may rent a desk or even a meeting room at a co-working space, other owners visit these spaces for the purpose of networking and business development. For example, WeWork, the famous co-working space company, has ten locations in the D.C. area alone:

Co-working spaces aren’t just about offering entrepreneurs an office to work and collaborate. They are also great for rubbing shoulders with other business owners, creating opportunities to network, learn, partner, or even build new client relationships.

“Co-working and incubators can be very helpful to small business owners because they facilitate collaboration, training and partnership between smaller firms and remote workers from larger shops.” says Jenn Eddy.

Washington D.C. Meetups for Business Owners

EventBrite

EventBrite has evolved from a ticket purchasing portal to a searchable database of events in any town across America. Search for “small business” and you’ll get a complete list of upcoming events. Covering everything from social media for small business, federal contracting, cybersecurity, and good old business networking events. Check out the Washington D.C. business event listing.

Meetup

Meetup.com differs from EventBrite in that meetups are advertised by groups including business incubators and events run by successful small business owners to help other business owners.

Some of the more active business Meetup groups in the D.C. area include D.C.-MD Small Business Owner Networking, Loudoun Business Alliance – which boasts that you’ll “…essentially gain a 20-40 person sales/marketing team at your side every week”, the Northern Virginia Small Business Innovators, and more.

Check out this calendar of SMB events in the D.C. area for the complete list of upcoming events near you.

Women in Technology near Washington D.C.

The D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia area is a hub of technology innovators and there’s no better place to network and realize opportunities for your business than Women in Technology (WIT). Helping women advance in technology, WIT offers leadership development, technology education, networking and mentoring opportunities. In addition to several committees and special interest groups, WIT hosts regular events, meetups, and chances to “Meet the Company” featuring technology movers and shakers in the Metro D.C. area.

D.C. Local Government, incubators and Business Associations

There are many local government small business groups and business associations across the Metro D.C. area. Meetups, business trainings, and networking events are a staple of their mission to help small businesses grow successfully. To wrap up this thread, we compiled a short list of few of these local business resources near Washington D.C.

Finally, a list of SMB incubators near Washington D.C. These incubators offer everything from low-cost co-working space, networking opportunities, access to funds, and more.

Caron is a small business owner, writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron has blogged for the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE ,and other organizations on all matters relating to small business management and growth. Connect with Caron on Twitter and at April Marketing.