Person working in an office with a rainbow flag and wearing a rainbow bracelet.
LGBTQ+-owned businesses are a growing part of the American economy, and many organizations have been formed to ensure they receive the resources they need to succeed. — Getty Images/Maria_Castellanos

LGBTQ+owned companies don’t always receive the same resources as companies owned by other demographic groups. This greatly compounds the number of hurdles and potential roadblocks for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and their startups. In fact, many of these businesses struggle to even make it off the ground and access the same opportunities as others.

Thankfully, there are resources available to help bridge this gap. For those starting or running their own company, here are 10 resources for LGBTQ+-owned businesses.

[Read more: The Language of DEI and the Terms Every Business Owner Should Know]

LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses

Inclusion in the workplace is still a big problem for LGBTQ+ professionals. According to a survey by the Boston Consulting Group, 75% of LGBTQ+ employees have experienced a negative workplace interaction related to their identity.

The LGBTQ Inclusion Hub for Small Businesses is an online platform helping business owners create inclusive workplaces. The U.S. Chamber Foundation created it as part of its Incorporating Inclusion initiative.

The platform provides information on diversity and why it’s essential to focus on inclusion in the workplace. There are also guides for creating inclusive workplace practices and leadership tips for LGTBQ+ professionals.

[Read more: Top Diversity Executives Offer Tips on Building and Retaining Inclusive Teams]

National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) (also known as the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) is an advocacy organization and the business voice of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s also the largest certifying body for LGBTQ+-owned businesses.

The NGLCC has 62 affiliate chambers across the country and 1,702 certified LGBTQ+ business enterprises. You can either certify your business or become a corporate partner.

When you certify your business with the NGLCC, you’ll open yourself up to new business opportunities and customers. And partnering with the NGLCC is a great way to expand the diversity of your supplier program.

Affinity Inc.

Affinity Inc. is a print and digital magazine that focuses on the LGBTQ+ business community. Affinity Inc. is a member of the NGLCC, and its mission is to support and promote LGBTQ+ equality in the workforce.

In this quarterly magazine, you’ll find news about corporations that are committed to diversity and inclusion. It also provides a forum to discuss the value that the LGBTQ+ community adds to the corporate bottom line.

OutProfessionals is the country’s leading LGBTQ+ networking organization.

Open for Business

Open for Business is a coalition of businesses that are vocal supporters of LGBTQ+ inclusion. This list includes companies like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Open for Business provides reports that highlight academic studies, data, and business reports showing that LGBTQ+ inclusion helps business and economic growth. The organization also focuses on local and global programs to create change.

The Local Influencer Programs build support for inclusion around the world. It does this by conducting country-specific research about inclusion and building support for LGBTQ+ rights. Open for Business’ Global Influencer Program focuses on creating a collective global voice for LGBTQ+ inclusion in business.

[Read more: LinkedIn’s VP of Diversity Explains Why Diverse Companies Are More Profitable]


OutProfessionals is the country’s leading LGBTQ+ networking organization. There are monthly virtual and in-person networking opportunities and community service activities.

You can either become a member for free or become a supporting member and gain access to year-round events. You can become a supporting member for just $65 per year and connect with other LGBTQ+ professionals.

OutProfessionals also focuses on growing its network of city chapters. City chapters are available in New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, with more cities coming. You can reach out to the organization if you’re interested in starting your own city chapter.

SBA's Network for LGBTQ+ Businesses

LGBTQ+-owned businesses can access local resources and opportunities with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA’s networking tool connects small businesses to local offices, where counselors can determine whether the business qualifies for resources like the 8(a) Business Development Program or SBA guaranteed loans. The SBA can also help certify LGBTQ+ businesses through the National LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce.

The SBA partners with federal agencies to assist in equitable access to programs like the 8(a) Business Development Program — a tool for disadvantaged small business owners, which assists the federal government with meeting its yearly goal of awarding 5% of all federal contracting dollars to these types of businesses.

Some specific district offices in alliance with the LGBTQ+ business community include the following:

  • OUT Georgia Business Alliance.
  • The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Greater Seattle Business Association.
  • La Cámara de Comercio LGBTTQ de Puerto Rico.
  • The Nashville LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
  • The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

Lesbians Who Tech

A coding scholarship program is offered through Lesbians Who Tech. The company focuses on education and opportunities for queer, nonbinary, and trans women who are looking to break into the tech industry. LGBTQ+ women using the scholarship can select a partner school, and the scholarship will cover 50% of the cost of the coding program. There are scheduled check-ins, job search assistance, mentors, and various networking and support resources for those in this industry.

Lesbians Who Tech also participates in Pride Summit, which is a tech-focused event looking to inspire and support by hosting a multitude of speakers and in-person learning opportunities for LGBTQ+ women leaders and allies. The company and its programs are a great resource for LGBTQ+ small business owners launching their careers in tech.


OutBuru is an online LGBTQ+ community that hosts many LGBTQ+-geared groups and events and supplies helpful resources and articles. Their goal is to assist business owners and employees within the LGBTQ+ community and help them grow as businesses as well as individuals. The articles they feature contain high-quality content and information geared explicitly toward supporting LGBTQ+ business owners.

The site offers a place for like-minded and like-experienced LGBTQ+ individuals and business owners to connect. There is branding help, employer ratings, entrepreneur networking, and various knowledge-sharing outlets that are available.

[Read more: Top Diversity Executives Offer Tips on Building and Retaining Inclusive Teams]


With a focus on enabling LGBTQ+ founders, StartOut provides businesses with resources to grow. Through a membership program, StartOut offers support to growing businesses by offering empowerment, financing information, advice on creating jobs to uplift the community, and skill development. Membership requires at least one founder of the business to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community and comes with a recommended monthly donation amount. There is also an empowerment, or needs-based, scholarship business owners can apply for.

A StartOut membership gives you access to investors committed to LGBTQ+ businesses, mentors, a support team, various programs, and a dedicated relationship manager.

Reaching Out

Reaching Out offers a place for LGBTQ+ individuals, students, and alumni to search for and post jobs, network, share company events, and find mentors. The organization has over a 20-year history of supporting the LGBTQ+ business community with Master of Business Administration (MBA) education access, mentoring, and networking. They work with over 70 business schools and corporate partners.

Reaching Out annually hosts several conferences and retreats with the aim of educating and empowering the LGBTQ+ MBA community. The goal is to help students reach their business and career goals at various stages of their educational and professional journeys.

This story was updated by Kirsten Capunay.

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