Portland’s 10 Best Business Networking Groups

The single most effective element to successful career management can be summed up in one word: network!

This is particularly true in the business community, where personal relationships are the foundation for nearly every transaction.

Whether you are looking to find a new job, meet your peers, or generate sales leads, regular networking is vital to make lasting connections.

Here are the ten best opportunities for business networking in Portland:

1. City Club of Portland

City Club of Portland is a civic organization focused on community service, public affairs, and leadership development. Their weekly Friday Forums and after-work programs explore issues important to the ongoing development of the greater Portland metropolitan area. The organization’s membership represents a broad spectrum of leaders from business, government, academia, social services and other professions.

2. Hands on Greater Portland Corporate Volunteer Council

The Corporate Volunteer Council is a coalition of businesses and business professionals committed to corporate volunteerism in local communities. The organization hosts regular networking events, provides volunteer training, and recognizes companies leading the way in social responsibility.

3. iTake The Lead Meetup Group

This Portland-based Meetup group has nearly 1,800 active members. Their goal: to help small business owners and sales professionals build referral based businesses, while creating a community of entrepreneurs. They offer a variety of training seminars and networking events, many of which are free to attend.

4. Oregon Entrepreneurs Network

OEN connects entrepreneurs to a large network of peers and mentors, funding opportunities, and trainings. They host over 100 events each year, which are open to both members and non-members. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur launching your first startup, OEN provides the tools you need to grow your business.

5. Portland Business Alliance

The Portland Business Alliance is the area’s regional chamber of commerce, with a membership of 1,850 companies, representing over 375,000 business professionals. PBA organizes regular networking and educational events, giving you an opportunity to connect with local business leaders.

6. BLocal PDX

B Local PDX is a group of B Corps from Oregon and Southwest Washington working to deepen connections among organizations in our region who share our purpose and passion for using business as a force for good. Events help socially responsibly business people act on their purpose to achieve socio-economic and environmental impact through their operations.

7. Business for a Better Portland

Launched in 2016, Business for a Better Portland is a new kind of business organization whose members believe that the health and prosperity of businesses depends on the health and prosperity of the community-at-large. The organization organizes around  Portland’s pressing issues, including: safe and efficient transportation, equity in entrepreneurship, access to capital, as well as housing and homelessness.

8. Social Entrepreneurs Meetup

Looking to start, join or grow a social good organization? Then is the Meetup group for you. The group organizes monthly events to help local social entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

9. Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs

OAME is an all-inclusive organization, operating by the motto: “Everybody’s In, Nobody’s Out.” The 850 member association is a collection of entrepreneurs, public agencies, partner non-profits and large businesses. The mission is directed toward eliminating discrimination and racism. OAME’s annual trade show is one of the biggest events of the year.

10. Portland Business Journal’s Power Breakfasts

Start your day with some networking! The Power Breakfast is an ongoing monthly event, showcasing successful local businesses and business leaders.

11. Network After Work 

(Yes… I’ve added an #11 to my “Top 10” list as a bonus!) The Portland Chapter of the Network after Work hosts regular networking events in some of the city’s hippest social venues.  This is a great way to connect with fellow professionals in a laid back, fun atmosphere