You might say what’s wrong with LinkedIn and many of the Facebook groups that have sprouted around entrepreneurship. Actually nothing – but just as everything from cooking to travel needs its own niche community, entrepreneurship deserves one too. Come to think of it, the web we know today would be a large vacant space without the enterprising zeal of tech evangelists and the big barons of the web who started out as humble entrepreneurs.
EFactor fits into that niche nicely. EFactor says that it is the world’s largest entrepreneurs social network. It may or may not be backed up by statistics, but one thing is sure…it sure has all the all the tools that a wannabe (and a well-worn) entrepreneur needs. It has valuable knowledge resources and a mix of free and premium (paid) tools for the entrepreneur.
Let’s become yet another member here and see if it’s worth our while.
It Is a Large Business Network
With a member database of 900,000 and that too from nearly 168 countries, EFactor can lay claim to the title. The homepage itself tells you that the Finance Request Network has over 25,000 vetted investors to help you get your business off the ground. EFactor is all about match-ups between those with business ideas and those with funds or advice. It is also a virtual marketplace. EFactor works around 4 main themes – find funding, gain knowledge, save costs, and gain revenue.
Starting Out At EFactor with One-Click
Just like any other network EFactor gives you a way to bring in your friends and contacts into your network. EFactor’s One-Click Network is your first matchup that will help you build contacts with similar interests. You can build up your profile by connecting your LinkedIn account too which is what I have done. But spend some time filling up the Knowledge Profile section.
The NOW Feed
The NOW feed is like the control center for what you engage in at EFactor. It is a list of feeds from all the important sections on EFactor. As you can see from the screenshot above, EFactor filters and feeds you information depending on the profile you have set up. You can connect to these resources like News, Blogs, Get Answers etc. and explore them in more depth. For instance, on Get Answers you can seek advice from the EFactor community and use the search function to read up old Q&A’s.
The Toolbox is the resources page for an entrepreneur. It is a mix of a virtual marketplace and other real world resources. Most of them are premium services requiring payment. But there are some like EFactor Widgets and Biz2Credit which you can explore. Free tools are limited and I am not sure how useful they are in their scope.
The Knowledge Base
Knowledge and education is what you will like to seek as a fledgling entrepreneur. The Knowledge section on EFactor is chockfull of personal stories, whitepapers, PDF downloads, streaming audio files etc. You can use the filters on top to sift through the different types of media on the page. But a better way to go through the knowledge mine here would be to use the stages of entrepreneurial how-to as listed on the left. If you are a first time entrepreneur, begin from the beginning (Before you start), right on to Expanding.
There are many among the close to a million members who have advertised their services as mentors. EFactor gives each of them a separate page with complete bio, email addresses, and personal feeds. Again, you can filter them by area of expertise and the kind of entrepreneurial assistance you are looking for.
If you are looking to use EFactor as a free only tool, then the knowledge base, business networking, and the Finance Requests tool should help you make headway. You could do without premium features like Events and entrepreneurial meet-ups via offline E.Lounges.
I am just starting out and learning my way through the niche entrepreneurial network. You can add the EFactor’s resources to the few we earlier covered:
- 10 Best Websites That Show You How to Start a Business
- Instantly Connect Idea Makers & Entrepreneurs Using OpenInvo
- 10 Awesome & Inspiring Blogs for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
- 8 Websites For Creative Business Ideas If You Want To Be An Entrepreneur
- 3 Free Tools to Plan and Visualise Your Start-Up Business
I am starting to build my own entrepreneurs social network. What about you? As an entrepreneur in the making would you like to connect here? Do you think EFactor as a social network is worth your while?