Networking. Like it or hate it, it’s critically important for small business owners to succeed. We’re talking about getting out from behind our business and going to events and groups where we can meet other entrepreneurs in San Diego. And let’s be real, we all know how important networking is to our success!
As an entrepreneur, growing your network should be a top priority. San Diego is filled with small businesses. Small business owners here will be the first to admit that we are very much a tight-knit “who you know” community.
In 2016, we posted a round-up of 15 entrepreneur groups in San Diego. Remember 2016? San Diego still had a professional football team. A lot has happened in the San Diego since 2016, so it’s time for an update.
Specifically, we’re going to look at some groups you should join if you are an entrepreneur in San Diego. These groups will give you access to like-minded people who you can network with, resources you can use to grow your business and, potentially, capital you will need to get started.
If you live in San Diego and you are an entrepreneur, here are 15 groups you should consider joining:
- San Diego Entrepreneur Meetup Group – Taking its inspiration from business guru Seth Godin, this group believes the business world will continue its march away from industrialism and toward a “connection economy” where real value is created through the human connections business people make.
- San Diego Young Entrepreneur Network Meetup Group – Not just for networking, this group is also for young entrepreneurs to stay up-to-date on innovative technology. Each week, the group gives a guest speaker 15 – 20 minutes to talk about a technique that is currently working for them so others may learn from it.
- San Diego Small Business Meetup Group – The San Diego Small Business Meetup Group holds semi-regular networking events, workshops, speaker events and personal development opportunities for entrepreneurs in San Diego.
- San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce – San Diego’s Chamber of Commerce is filed with active members. If you take advantage of their events, meetings and resources, you would have the opportunity to network with, and learn from more than 2,500 business people throughout San Diego County.
- San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange – A nonprofit organization, the Exchange is run by local entrepreneurs to encourage new entrepreneurs, and sponsor networking and educational services for people interested in Life Sciences, Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, Tech and Alternative Energy.
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization San Diego – A global, peer-to-peer network, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization consists of influential business owners who belong to 170 chapters in 53 countries. It has been around since 1987.
- San Diego Venture Group – Another non-profit business association, its mission is to support and promote the venture capital and startup eco-system in the San Diego region. The group includes venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, experienced executives, and professionals who support them.
- Startup Grind San Diego – Another global group, Startup Grind is sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs and has a presence in a multitude of cities around the world. It hosts events throughout the year.
- Youth Entrepreneurship Program San Diego – Featuring lessons, mentoring and counseling, this group focuses on young people who are interested in starting their own business. It even has a business plan competition for them to enter.
- Entrepreneur Organization (EO) San Diego – A global organization, EO is a network of more than 12,000+ business owners. They have 170 chapters in 53 countries. In San Diego, there are more than 150 members with median sales of approximately $2M. EO isn’t for everyone, but those who are members tend to be raving fans.
- Connect – Connect gives entrepreneurs access to people, capital and technology that can help grow their startups. It holds events throughout the year.
- The VineSD – The VineSD connects entrepreneurs and allows them to grow under one roof. The organization has partnerships with EvoNexus, ROC, Irvine Company and ReadyNow®.
- San Diego SCORE – A volunteer-run non-profit organization with a mission to promote the success of small business in both San Diego and Imperial Counties, SCORE mentors provide free and confidential business assistance to entrepreneurs and existing small business owners.
- Exceptional Entrepreneurs – Founded in 2008, Exceptional Entrepreneurs has four weekly networking events in San Diego. No membership is required, but there is a small cost.
- San Diego Women in Business Groups – Last but definitely not least, San Diego has a very active community of women entrepreneurs. From the Athena San Diego to Women’s Wisdom, and all the groups in between, there is a large number of exciting networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs!