Calan Breckon • Published March 25th, 2024

9 Entrepreneurial Resources to Help You Start a Successful Business

Beginning a new business or venture can be intimidating, but with the right resources at hand, entrepreneurs can navigate the startup life more confidently.

I know startup founders often spend substantial time securing money, conducting market research, and creating realistic, profitable business plans that meet their lifestyles. (trust me, I’ve done it all)

Establishing a strong footing in entrepreneurship is key to transitioning smoothly to the next stages of the startup journey to avoid common pitfalls.

In this article, you’ll explore nine essential resources for entrepreneurs to help lay the foundation for a successful business plan.

Key Takeaways

  • Actionable tips for starting your business.
  • Resources for all areas of entrepreneurship.
  • This article is a great starting place for pointing you in the right direction.

Funding and Grants for Entrepreneurs

entrepreneur resources for funding and grants

Entrepreneurs, small business owners, and the self-employed often encounter financial barriers that hinder their business growth and potential.

Whether you’re developing a new product, launching a service or scaling up an existing venture, access to funding opportunities is essential. It covers a wide range of expenses, including product development, manufacturing, marketing and operational costs. Without sufficient financial resources, realizing business goals and attaining long-term success becomes challenging.

One of the most significant challenges entrepreneurs face is finding funding programs that provide small business assistance and prioritize inclusivity, diversity, and cater to the needs of individuals, particularly those in marginalized communities.

Fortunately, I have a few solutions for you. For starters, you should consider joining credible funding programs and growth grant programs or accelerators. I list a few below but if you want to see a more extensive list you can check out my article on Startup Funding and Grants for LGBTQ+ Entrepreneurs.

Chasing Rainbows (VC Fund)

Chasing Rainbows is a venture capital fund that helps empower entrepreneurs within the LGBTQ+ community.

They specialize in funding startups with a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion by providing them with the necessary tools and guidance for exponential growth to turn them into successful entrepreneurs.

Chasing Rainbows has already invested in a range of companies in various sectors, from sustainable technology to AI-driven services.

They provide practical advice, mentorship, networking opportunities, entrepreneur resources, and financial resources to aid aspiring entrepreneurs.

Rural Business Development Grants

Rural communities hold immense potential for innovation and economic prosperity.

Recognizing this potential, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers the Rural Business Development Grant program.

This program serves as a catalyst, empowering entrepreneurs in rural areas to propel economic growth and cultivate job creation.

From burgeoning agricultural ventures to fledgling local businesses, the program offers crucial financial support, nurturing the seeds of success in underserved regions.

This initiative signifies a commitment to fostering vibrant rural economies, paving the way for a more equitable and sustainable future.

Support Organizations for Entrepreneurs

Women entrepreneurs and other entrepreneurs like LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs sometimes can find specific resources just for them

Support organizations provide the best entrepreneur resources that can help start and grow successful small businesses. I’ve been part of multiple organizations that have helped me and my business, which I’ve listed a few below.

These types of organizations provide a ton of great resources and benefits such as:

1) Educational Resources: This can include workshops, online courses, webinars, and other educational materials covering various aspects of business development, such as marketing, finance, legal compliance, and strategic planning, all enhancing entrepreneurs’ knowledge and skills.

2) Business mentors and Industry Experts: These are people who offer valuable guidance and mentorship to entrepreneurs from firsthand experience in starting and growing successful businesses.

This can help you accelerate your learning curve, avoid common obstacles, and increase your chances of becoming a successful business owner.

I cannot stress enough the importance of mentorship in business. I’ve had multiple mentors and they have been critical to my success.

3) Networking Opportunities: You gain exposure to other sectors, industries, and ways of doing business. Additionally, you meet a ton of people who might become a valuable asset to your business in the future.

One of the greatest benefits is connecting with like-minded individuals who share similar aspirations and business goals.

This creates an environment where you can hear success stories, gain inspiration and build strong support networks that can contribute to your entrepreneurial journey.

4) Funding Opportunities: Organizations provide information about various funding opportunities available including grants, loans, venture capital, angel investors and crowdfunding platforms.

Additionally, a lot of the time support organizations partner with government agencies, financial institutions and private organizations to offer these kinds of financial assistance.

After I did the CGLCC OUT for Business mentorship program, I was able to get access to a City of Toronto grant that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get access to.

Furthermore, they often prioritize inclusivity. This means that there is equal access to resources and opportunities for all entrepreneurs.

Here are some Support Organizations to look into:

I’ve been a member of the CGLCC since 2022 when I went through their OUT for Business mentorship program and I’ve been a fan ever since. The organization does amazing work for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs in Canada and massively changed my business life. I don’t know if I would be where I am today if it had not been for Canada’s LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.

The NGLCC is the sister organization to the CGLCC and is based in the USA. They do a lot of the same work when it comes to fostering entrepreneurship in the LGBTQ+ community in the United States. I had the pleasure of attending their Leadership Conference in Denver in the summer of 2023 and now I make it my goal to go yearly to the event.

The IWSCC is an organization dedicated to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Canadian workplace for veteran-owned businesses and people living with a disability through resources, certification and advocacy efforts.

StartOut is another LGBTQ+ focused organization based in the US (with branches starting in Canada and abroad) that offers accelerator programs, mentorship, and access to capital. Their Growth Lab program runs twice yearly and as of the writing of this article has helped their startups raise over $892M in funding. They also commission studies on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship which you can learn more about in my interview with the StartOut CEO Brian Richardson.

CAMSC is a not-for-profit organization that certifies diverse suppliers and facilitates the growth of Aboriginal and minority-owned businesses. They are also part of Supplier Diversity Alliance Canada (SDAC) which comprises CAMSC, the IWSCC, and the CGLCC.

The Minority Business Development Agency stands as a pillar of support for minority entrepreneurs in the United States.

Established by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the MBDA’s mission is to champion the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses.

Through a comprehensive suite of programs and resources, the MBDA empowers minority entrepreneurs in various stages of their journeys.

From providing guidance and capital access to facilitating export opportunities and fostering connections, the MBDA plays a pivotal role in fostering a more inclusive and equitable business landscape.

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) Growth Grants The NASE provides grants of up to $4,000 to small business owners, to help entrepreneurs get their small businesses back up and run. Four winners are awarded the grant each quarter.

Podcasts for Entrepreneurs

Today’s podcasts have become a popular and convenient way to get advice, insights, and inspiration on the go.

There is a wide range of topics relating to entrepreneurship, business management, personal development and much more, in which entrepreneurs can easily find content that resonates with their goals and journey.

Here are a few of my favourite resources and some inspirational podcasts to check out:

Creating an Online Presence

Small business innovation research

Creating an online presence is a critical aspect of successful companies.

Utilizing resources such as SEO tools, e-commerce platforms, websites, and social media, aids in both the creation and promotion of your business.

In recent years there has been a lot of talk around this idea of “Omni-channel marketing.” Basically what is means is that you need to be on all platforms, across all channels so that you have multiple opportunities for touchpoints with possible customers.

This visibility is important for building know, like, and trust factor when it comes to potential customers. Especially in today’s age where more and more people are turning to social channels to check out if you’re legit or not.

It’s not enough anymore to just have a website and say you’re open for business. You truly need to build a community around your business or product if you really want to get ahead in today’s markets. That’s why I launched my podcast so that I could provide valuable content for my listeners and help them get to know me before they decide if they’d like to do business with me. Then I take that content and repurpose it across all social platforms.

Resources for Starting a Business Website

Resources for Starting a Business Website

Creating a business website is a simple strategy, yet extremely impactful for success.

It makes it easy for customers to access information relating to your product and/or service regardless of their location or time zone.

Resources for starting a business website include:

  1. Website builders: Options such as Wix, SquareSpace and WordPress offer user-friendly interfaces and templates that allow entrepreneurs to create professional-looking websites. My personal advice would be to go with WordPress if you’re planning to use blogging and SEO as part of your growth and marketing strategy.

  2. Web hosting services: These services deal with the background technical aspects of hosting a website, ensuring that your website is accessible to visitors at all times. Some options include 10Web, BlueHost, and GoDaddy. You can think of hosting as the place where all the data on your website is housed, and your website as the place where the data gets displayed. They work together, but they are not the same thing.

  3. Social media integration tools: Integrating social media into your website is essential for increasing engagement and driving traffic. You need this if you want to build that omnichannel marketing we were talking about.


ecommerce resources for entrepreneurs

In today’s digital world, E-commerce is a model that businesses use to conduct transactions online.

It helps small business owners with:

  1. A global consumer base: E-commerce allows businesses to reach consumers globally, and allows customers to shop at their convenience by making the business accessible 24/7.

  2. Data analytics: E-commerce platforms provide valuable data and analytics that allow business owners to gain insights into customer behaviour, preferences and trends.

  3. Reduce overhead costs: Reduces costs like rent, utilities, and staffing that would have been required within a physical store.

By using new technologies and leveraging these advantages, business owners can increase their profitability and competitiveness, achieving long-term success in today’s market.

It’s so easy to start an e-commerce store today with all the tech-enabled options out there. But, be warned. Just because setting it up is easy, doesn’t mean money will just start flowing it and all will be magical. Building any reputable brand and business takes a LOT of time. So, if you’re just in it for the money because someone said it was easy, make sure to take a long hard look at all the details before you jump in.

Creating A Social Media Presence

Creating A Social Media Presence

Entrepreneurs can leverage social media, such as Facebook, Instagram and TikTok as a marketing tactic. This can aid entrepreneurs in getting ahead of their competitors too. I already spoke a bit about this, but let’s dive in deeper.

Some advantages include:

  1. Reach more customers:

    With 4.95 billion active users on social media platforms as of 2024, entrepreneurs can tap into that vast pool of potential customers, expanding your brand’s reach.

  2. Increase the brand’s visibility:

    Consistently engaging with your audience and sharing compelling content about your business can help you establish your brand identity and boost the algorithm in your favour.

    As the algorithm favours active and engaging accounts, you can boost your visibility and attract more followers, which helps you stand out in a crowded marketplace.

  3. Customer engagement:

    You can interact with your customers to get feedback and address their concerns promptly while also getting real-time data to inform your business.

    Too many times have I seen entrepreneurs build something or deliver a product that the market never asked for and doesn’t want. Then they wonder what went wrong. TALK TO YOUR PEOPLE! They will tell you what they want. You’re building these products and services FOR them after all, aren’t you?

  4. Content Distribution:

    You can use social media to promote your products or services. By being active on social media, you can drive traffic to your businesses by linking your products and websites in the bio of the social media platform. My top advice would be to start building an email list as soon as you can. An email list is a valuable asset to your business that no one can take away from you or shut down. (did someone say TikTok ban?)


Marketing Strategy

Marketing is an important step that helps a business be successful. Most times, without some type of marketing, you won’t have a business.

Entrepreneurs can leverage techniques and strategies that are aimed at promoting their products or services, which attract customers and drive sales.

Marketing can include:

  1. Identify a target audience: This allows entrepreneurs to tailor their marketing efforts to specific demographics, interests and needs. They’re able to create more relevant and resonating marketing using the characteristics and preferences of their ideal customers.

  2. Market research: This is essential for Entrepreneurs to understand the needs, preferences and behaviours of their target customers.

  3. Branding: Entrepreneurs need to build a credible brand identity, which is crucial to the business’s success. This includes logos, themes, typography, voice, mascot, etc.

  4. Advertisements: This is material that increases the entrepreneur’s consumer pool. This can include both digital and physical marketing techniques such as blogs, social media, email marketing, billboards, and other advertisements that attract customers to the business.

  5. SEO Marketing: I have a bias toward SEO marketing and building your website as a marketing tool. The only things you will own online are your website, domain name, and email list. No one can take these things away from you. When you invest in SEO marketing, you are building your website with Google in mind so that it can recommend you more organically when a potential customer Googles your niche. Why wouldn’t you want to invest in putting your brand at the top of those Google searches? I could go on and on but I think you get the idea.

Market Research for Successful Business Owners

resources for entrepreneurs and a chart going up

Market research is crucial for entrepreneurs to understand their target audience, competition, industry trends and other potential opportunities.

There are a ton of entrepreneurial resources that assist with research, providing information about various industries, consumer behaviour, trends, demographics, and other industry analysis.

There is no shortage of amazing, free content online that is available to anyone who is looking to learn and willing to put in the time.

I am a big fan of Y Combinator and their YouTube channel, as they’re a good mix of practical application and lived experience.

This is just one example of a great resource that can help you quickly learn where you should focus your attention.

Additionally, entrepreneurs can conduct personalized research about their products and services through surveys, focus groups and interviews with customers, gathering qualitative feedback.

This feedback can help you make informed decisions, identify market gaps, create strategies, and develop your products and/or services further, to help you prosper and create a remarkable business.


There are a lot of options out there to help you get started as an entrepreneur. It can be really daunting branching off from the status quo to pursue your own dreams but speaking from experience, it’s so worth it.

Start with baby steps. Do some research around ideas you have and then keep taking the next logical step. Don’t look to the top of the giant staircase that will eventually be your business, just look at the next step, then the next, and the next. This is how I avoid feeling overwhelmed and anxious in my business. I only ever focus on the next logical step, and then take it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important entrepreneur resource?

People are the most important entrepreneur resource. The employees are the driving force behind the success of any business, as they are the ones who design, build, and promote the product or service. Without them, there would be no business to begin with.

Why do entrepreneurs need these resources?

Entrepreneurs need these resources to learn how to raise money, start and run a business successfully, as well as acquire the knowledge, skills, mentorship, and support to do so.

What are common mistakes entrepreneurs should avoid when starting a business?

Common mistakes can include a lack of market research as this causes the product to not meet the targeted audience’s needs if the entrepreneur does not have all the information needed to make informed decisions about their product or service.

Another common mistake is a lack of financial planning. This can cause financial instabilities and even business failure due to unforeseen expenses or cash flow problems.

To prevent this, proper planning is required, including a comprehensive market research report, detailed budgets, contingency plans and more. For more information, please refer to the “market research” and “funding and grants” section.

And lastly, I will say being impatient is a very common mistake. If this is going to be a sustainable business for the long run, then you have the time to go at a reasonable speed and take your time building it. The pyramids were built with massive foundations before they built up. Build your business the same say, build your foundation so well that your company will still be standing even well after you’re gone.

What is entrepreneurial innovation?

Innovative entrepreneurship is the practice of establishing and creating new business ideas intending to generate profit, assist the community and accomplish company goals.

Innovative entrepreneurs develop business models to identify and meet the needs of an organization and improve their efficiency and competitiveness in the market.

Why do so many entrepreneurs fail?

The most common reasons small businesses fail include a lack of capital or funding, retaining an inadequate management team, a faulty infrastructure or business model, and unsuccessful marketing initiatives.

I recorded a whole podcast episode all about how to avoid business failure and what you can do to prevent it from happening to you.

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon

Calan Breckon is an SEO Specialist and Organic Content Marketer who uses search engine optimization tactics to generate more website traffic and leads for his clients. Calan has worked with companies such as Cohere and Canada Life and has been a guest on the "Online Marketing Made Easy" podcast with Amy Porterfield as well as featured in publications like Authority Magazine and CourseMethod.

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