Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a startup founder or a veteran small business owner, you’ll need online communities, forums / message boards, as well as niche websites in the entrepreneurship space, to learn from and discuss with like-minded individuals who have been where you are now.
In this article, I’ll list 30 of the best websites and online forums & communities that you can be part of, to learn from other experienced startuppers & business owners, and to share your expertise.
1. SMBs, Startups & Entrepreneurship Subreddits
Whenever a list of forums has to be made on any topic these days, Reddit would take the top spot, since it has a multitude of forums (called subreddits for the uninitiated), on pretty much any subject that one can think of.
And boy do they have some big forums/subreddits for SMB owners, Entrepreneurs & Tech Startup founders:
- r/SmallBusiness (~750K members)
- r/Entrepreneur (~1M members)
- r/EntrepreneurRideAlong (~200K members)
- r/DigitalNomad (~1.4M members)
- r/Business (~675K members)
- r/Business_Ideas (~125K members)
- r/Startups (~1M members)
- r/Startup_Ideas (~50K members)
- r/SideHustle (~75K members)
- r/JustStart (~100K members)
You can also find subreddits for specific industries or business types (e-commerce, SaaS founders, offline SMBs, food services, flipping, consulting..etc), you can use the search bar to find whatever community you’re looking for.
2. Quora Topics / Communities for SMB Owners, Founders & Entrepreneurs
If you have a question, Quora will have the answer. It is yet another vastly popular and extremely diverse discussion platform.
You can place your business queries and get expert opinions from local and foreign businessmen (and business-women). Also, the website will automatically rank the answers based on their authenticity and popularity.
Quora can also be used as a marketing platform for both paid and free marketing campaigns. Also, it is available on both android and IOS platforms, thus, providing you a great user experience.
You can inquire about your business concerns anytime, anywhere, with just a few clicks.
3. LinkedIn Groups for SMB Owners, Startup Founders & Entrepreneurs
LinkedIn is a hybrid platform that cannot only be used for public discussions but also human resources management.
There are lots of communities, organizations, and businesses that you can connect with, for mentor-ship as well as collaboration.
You can hire the best talent that can work both on-premises and remotely for your business. LinkedIn has immense daily traffic. Therefore, it is great for marketing purposes as well.
Apart from the general public, LinkedIn has dedicated expert groups that you can be a part of for receiving regular professional advice without incurring any costs.
4. Medium Entrepreneurship & SMBs Topics
Medium is an online publishing platform, that gathers writers from around the world publishing articles and online-magazine-type publications on a variety of subjects.
You can create your own account and share you experiences as well, and get feedback from commenters, as well as develop an audience in your niche.
Medium is a freemium, meaning it’s free for basic users, but there’s a subscription to unlock premium content and features.
BizWarriors is one of the most comprehensively detailed forums where you can find thousands of business threads.
These threads cover every aspect of your business and uncover new opportunities that you can take advantage of, to put yourself ahead of the competition.
It is a true business-oriented discussions platform where you’ll find the most relevant users who can provide the most appropriate business solutions.
A remarkable feature of this website is that it is equally valuable for beginners as well as experts. It explains basic business rules for startups along with advanced strategic plans for medium and large-sized businesses.
Startup Nation is a business coaching platform where you can learn everything from starting a business with limited funds, to achieving unlimited growth.
What makes Startup Nation unique is that you don’t have to wait to get the perfect response for your queries, rather you can instantly be a part of a comprehensive learning project.
Startup Nation is a vibrant community that is famous for bringing forward the most innovative & unorthodox business solutions, with more than a 100K visitors on a monthly basis.
Flying Solo Forum is an Australian community of individuals who have rejected the traditional careers & businesses, to embrace entrepreneurship solo-style.
So whether you are a freelancer, content creator, digital marketer, e-commerce store owner, or online investor … etc, relying on other remote freelancers as well as co-working spaces, instead of a traditional business with a fixed office + full-time employees, then this community is for you.
Although this is an Australian community, you’ll find in there more than a 100K digital soloists from around the world.
Digital marketing is a valuable practice through which you can define the level of success of your business.
The modern marketplaces are extremely competitive and it’s hard to run a business without colossal efforts. Startups desperately need cost-effective marketing campaigns that ensure a high ROI.
So, If you are a business owner and need assistance in this regard, the Warrior Forum is the perfect place for you, whether you want to run paid marketing campaigns or engage in organic marketing efforts such as SEO…
There are thousands of marketing experts who are willing to share their valuable experiences. Being a part of such a forum is extensively important as the world of digital marketing evolves rapidly.
So you’ll need to connect and collaborate with other experts to keep up with the latest developments in relevant technologies.
As the name suggests, No Code Founders is a community specifically for startup founders who don’t code (or choose not to code).
Most startup communities are filled with technical advice/jargon since they assume that a startup founder would usually be an IT professional. So this forum is for those exceptions who focus on business rather than tech.
You’ll find in this community thousands of founders who use out-of-the-box solutions, instead of building their own, from app/website builders, to payment processors, and more, exchanging useful knowledge and information to make it possible for non-techy founders to build online businesses & tech startups.
Small Business Forum is yet another highly popular online forum for business discussions. There are thousands of experts across various disciplines including IT professionals, accountants, managers, marketing professionals, and human resource professionals.
You can discuss new business ideas and get feasibility assessments for your future projects, all in one place. This platform assists you in your decision-making at all the different levels of business management.
The small business forum is gaining popularity and every day it welcomes new and ambitious business owners and enthusiasts. There are individual threads regarding starting, managing, financing, franchising, and several other aspects. Each thread contains thousands of posts where ideas and solutions are being discussed in real-time.
Startups.com is a popular website that is specifically built to generate and disseminate new business ideas and solve strategic difficulties.
You have to be a part of a group of 8 business experts that share the same business goals as you. Each expert can bring forward new solutions to existing problems and together the group can identify the best path.
All the group members can interact through virtual meetings. Also, you can be a part of several groups without any restriction.
The Fastlane forum is a online community of entrepreneurs building real life businesses, ones who are NOT involved in MLM/crypto/Quick-money-online kind of hustles. it contains a public free forum, and a paid subscription based “Insiders” forum.
Basically it’s a forum that was created by “a semi-retired entrepreneur” MJ DeMarco, who wrote 3 books explaining his framework to do business, the “C.E.N.T.S” framework:
- Control: your business shouldn’t rely on another company/platform, you should have control of every aspect
- Entry: your business shouldn’t be easily replicated, it should have a barrier to entry for future competitors
- Need: your business should fulfill an actual need/want on the market
- Time: your business shouldn’t be tied to your time (ie: selling products vs billing hours as a consultant)
- Scale: your business should be scalable with no easily attainable ceiling
And yes, before you say it, it indeed looks like a forum built mainly to do content marketing for that guy’s books, and to funnel users into that “super secret exclusive” club of “Insiders”, all while peddling basic common-sense as a branded “framework”.
But regardless of all of that, the free public forum still has some good threads, and a welcoming/helpful community of fellow entrepreneurs, so you can certainly enjoy that aspect without buying into the other stuff.
13. Online Geniuses
Online Geniuses is a private Slack community for marketers that keeps track of the latest developments in marketing technologies and how they are reshaping the world of advertisement.
It is a decent platform for job hunting as well. You can find many job opportunities in the relevant marketing industry as well as hire fresh talent for launching successful marketing campaigns for your business.
The access to this community is free, but you have to go through a selection process that can last up to a month, that’s because they want to keep this community tight and between actual marketing professionals, or at least that what they claim.
They offer a paid way to skip that process (a one time 25$ for instant access), I’m guessing they justify this fee by claiming that only legit people would actually pay it, and that helps them filter out trolls/spammers.
14. Startup Grind
Startup Grind is a learning platform that is exclusively dedicated to starting new businesses and guiding them towards targeted goals.
It provides you with a custom coaching facility through which you can identify and mitigate your business and financial risks.
Another great feature of this platform is that it provides you tremendous opportunities for local and foreign collaborations.
Startup Grind has veteran trainers from all around the globe. This feature makes it a perfect place for you if you are interested in targeting foreign markets for your local products and services.
Business Advice Forum is a popular discussion-based platform that provides business advice from operational to strategic levels. This platform creates value for its visitors in two different ways.
You can either be a part of a comprehensive learning experience where you can explore every aspect of business practices, or you can go directly to the discussion thread of your choice.
This website provides a remarkably accurate SWOT analysis of your business. There are so many experts across various industries that it is hard to miss any latest updates and current affairs.
You will be able to locate opportunities and threats at their earlier inceptions and take corrective measures in time.
16. Retire at 21 Website
Professional advice is not only an intellectual asset that can ensure the success of your business. You also need great inspiration and motivation to withstand the tough trial of time.
Retire at 21 is a unique yet extremely powerful platform that provides you the required inspiration through storytelling.
Their posts inform you of real-life examples so that you should also showcase commitment and perseverance in your particular industry.
Apart from the motivational posts, you can also read several technical articles by market experts that guide you in taking the most appropriate decisions for your business.
17. Indie Hackers
The Indie Hackers community is an advanced online message board gathering both veteran and newbie tech startup founders to enable the newbies to “learn from the founders behind hundreds of profitable online businesses, and connect with others who are starting and growing their own companies”.
It has several sections to boost the intercommunication between its members, like the Groups section, Meetups section, the Products gallery, the Learning corner, or a list of podcasts by veteran tech founders.
You don’t necessarily have to be a techie to join this community, since a lot of discussions / groups revolve around no-code solutions or e-commerce type of online businesses.
Indie Hackers was created by an employee of Stripe as a means of collaboration between startup founders using Stripe payment services, but it has grown since then to one of the best forums online for startup founders in general.
18. The Admin Zone for Online Forums/Community Owners
The Admin Zone is a web-based Community of Bulletin Board owners and managers devoted to the exchange of ideas and information regarding all the aspects of overseeing and managing message boards, online forums and web communities.
So, if you have an online forum or you wish to launch a message board soon, then this community is for you as it gathers veteran online community owners a administrators as well as newbies, enabling an exchange of experience and learning materials.
Although they have “Forum” in their name, The Small Business Forum isn’t like your typical message board, it’s rather an online publication by business owners for small business owners.
They accept content contributions outside of their editorial team, especially those submitted through Medium.
It does however offer a variety of useful articles and blog posts about SMBs, sales & marketing, and entrepreneurship in general, and you can tweet at and/or DM the contributors of those posts (who often are business owners themselves).
The Side Hustle Nation website is in fact a blog by Nick Loper, a hustler/entrepreneur himself since 2013, and a writer of several books about entrepreneurship, side hustles, marketing and productivity.
He shares his ideas & experiences as well as the ideas & experiences of some of the most active members of his FB community and other guest posters on his blog, and on his podcast.
Both his blog and his podcast contain some really interesting golden nuggets, and they have overall a good amount of learning resources for aspiring and newbie entrepreneurs and hustlers online.
UKBF is a great place for UK based small business owners to get advice, resources and support from the most active small business community in the UK.
You’ll find on that website a tremendous wealth of expertise and experience to help your business thrive, shared by SMB veterans, helping you to be equipped with the right tools to get started on your small business venture.
This website will allow you -through the community section- to meet other like-minded small business owners and grow your network in the united kingdom.
22. Creative Cow for Media Producers
The COW, as it is frequently called, has been servicing media experts and beginners alike since 2001. For more than two decades.
Creative COW has proven to be the largest and most long-lasting community site dedicated to serving media professionals working in post production, acquisition, vfx, and other media related crafts and trades.
This website contains a section for online forums and message boards, another for news and tutorials, and last but not least, a dynamic job board specific to media professionals.
This is a forum for small business and e-commerce store owners to discuss all aspects about the technology aspects of their businesses, from setting up an online shop, to website security and data-backups all the way to the different issues related to digital marketing (SEO, emailing, paid ads, … etc).
It has more than 20K members, and at any given moment you can find hundreds of fellow small business owners to exchange ideas and seek help from.
24. MeetUp Groups for Local Business Owners
As per their own definition:
“Meetup is a platform for finding and building local communities. People use Meetup to meet new people, learn new things, find support, get out of their comfort zones, and pursue their passions, together”.Meetup.com
It’s not usually used for business related meetups, but you can definitely search for business groups in your area to find link-minded individuals and participate in the events they organize to grow your network.
Alignable is sort of a social network for small business owners in North America, that helps you to generate leads, prospects and referrals, as well as building a solid business network that favors the exchange of ideas and experiences
It has more than 7 million members, and contains sections for Q/A and industry specific discussions, to answer your questions and help you build mutually beneficial partnerships with your fellow business owners in your area.
Startup School by the famous incubator YCombinator is a free online program for startup founders who are actively pursuing their own business venture.
The site has a learning section, as well as a dynamic forum, with multiple channels to allow founders to discuss the different topics and issues that they face.
They have an Aspiring Founder track for those who are interested in starting a startup in the next 6 months, but who aren’t actively working on it yet, and are still looking for guidance.
Product Hunt is a community website that gathers founders and early adopters, and helps the founders to get that early exposure and initial user base for their MVPs or prototypes.
You can also use it for inspiration, you’ll get a daily feed of recently launched products, to discover the newest websites, mobile apps, hardware projects and online services.
MakerPad is a website by Zapier for people that want to build businesses online without any coding knowledge.
It allows you to search through thousands of no-code products and services, and gives you lots of learning materials on how to achieve your tasks with no-code solutions.
It also has a community of no-code online-business owners, that share their feedback, ideas and experiences on how they built their business venture with no-code solutions only.
If you are a business owner and you are looking for no-code ways to achieve success, then this community is for you.
Founders Beta is a hub for startuppers, whether you are a founder, or an early startup employee, this community gathers all the stakeholders of the startups scene, and offers a dynamic forum for you, along with a job board, an events calendar and a deals section specific for startup founders and early employees.
There is just one catch, membership is based on a monthly subscription fee, going from 10$/month to 100$/month, I’ll let you visit and judge for yourselves if it’s worth the price.
30. Pragmatic Entrepreneurs Forum (FR)
This is an online forum in for french-speaking entrepreneurs, created by Camille Roux, a business consultant who apparently was involved in the creation of a few startups, and who consults new founders on their strategy and business model.
The forum itself is free and quite interesting if you understand french, and it seems to have a small (less than 10K members) yet dynamic community of start-upping veterans as well as newbies and aspiring entrepreneurs.
And that concludes our list of 30 websites, forums, message boards and online communities, that are all geared towards entrepreneurs, small business owners, and startup founders.
I hope this was useful for you, and that you discovered through this list some useful websites that’ll help you in you journey.
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