Bank of America has launched an online community for small business owners to share experiences and network with their peers.
The Small Business Online Community includes a 'Forums' section, where SMEs can post questions and seek help and advice from others in the community. Registered users will also be able to post their stories of business success and share tips for overcoming business challenges. The community-generated content will be supplemented by a range of expert articles.
Mark Hogan, president of small business banking for Bank of America says the community site was established in response to the growing need expressed by thousands of small business owners to connect and learn from others in their field in order to better run their business.
"Our small business owners need a place where they can go to learn from one another, share their experiences and get answers to the questions that will help them better run their business," he says.
Although operated by Bank of America, community membership will be open to all small business owners, and the content will be driven dynamically by the membership, he says. As users develop an interest in a specific small business topic, forum categories and expert content will be updated to reflect this new interest.
The initiative is similar to Join2Grow, a MySpace-style social network for European entrepreneurs established by Belgian banking group Fortis in February this year. Join2Grow now counts some 2000 members, ahead of the forecasts projected at launch.