Meet Some of the Most Inspiring African-American Women in Tech
With Black History Month in full swing, we’re not just reflecting on the past, but also looking to the future for amazing figures in the African-American community today. When it comes to entrepreneurs, black women are the fastest growing demographic out there. And while this is a statistic we love, unfortunately many minorities in tech are still lacking the resources and recognition to get their startups off the ground. These must-follow ladies are closing this minority gap and inspiring new generations of women (and men) of color to pursue a successful life in tech. Talk about major #GirlBoss inspiration.
2. Stacy Brown-Philpot: If you’re not using TaskRabbit yet, we’re here to tell you: It’s the best way to get help fast to do those things you don’t have time to do. Ms. Brown-Philpot is one of the people you have to thank for this super helpful idea. She’s the Chief Operating Officer at TaskRabbit, and she’s helped the company grow and function with A+ strategy. Before that, she was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Google Ventures. (Photo via The Searchlights Project)
3. Angela Benton: She’s founder and CEO at NewMe Accelerator, which is helping underrepresented entrepreneurs get the exposure and resources they need to be super successful. Since they launched in 2011, Benton’s company has helped entrepreneurs raise $17MM without even having to fly out to Silicon Valley. They conduct calls with coaches and complete guides to get you where you need to go with your business. Gotta love an entrepreneur helping entrepreneurs, right? (Photo via Twitter)
4. Kelechi Anyadiegwu: This fabulous woman is using tech to bring African textiles to people around the world with Zuvaa. These fabrics are not only stunning, but they make a major statement. Anyadiegwu and her team are connecting a global network of designers by creating and empowering a passionate fashion community, online and off. (Photo via Zuvaa)
5. Kimberly Bryant: We’re all about ladies learning how to become ace coders, so we’re definitely on board with the mission of Black Girls Code. Kimberly Bryant was in school for Electrical Engineering and found that there weren’t a lot of black women in her industry, simply due to a lack of resources. She founded Black Girls Code to give young women of color the tools they need to learn about and love the inner workings of tech. (Photo via Black Girls Code)
6. Mary Farrow: Heads up: Gramsly is about to be your new favorite tech startups On this website, you can curate a box of goodies to send to your favorite seniors along with a picture and a personalized message. You can even make it a subscription that sends every three months. Farrow tapped into the needs of the growing population of seniors to share some love with them in a really special, unique way, just like grandma would. (Photo via LinkedIn)
7. India Aleah Hayes: This designer believes that designing for charitable organizations and nonprofits shouldn’t cost a ton of cash. Through her design company The Duty of Design, Hayes and her team create work that’s making the world a better place with human-centered design and stunning campaigns. (Photo via Twitter)
8. Laura Weidman Powers: She’s the CEO and Co-founder of Code 2040, which is looking to close the race gap in the tech industry by ensuring that Black and Latino people are equally represented in the country’s innovation economy. Through summer programs and internships, Powers and her team are helping young students start working their way toward innovation and leadership. (Photo via Code 2040)
9. Christina Lewis Halpern: Founder and Executive Director of All Star Code, Halpern is making some serious waves for young men of color in tech. Her nonprofit organization teaches them computer science, entrepreneurship and interpersonal skills so they can start a successful tech career early on. (Photo via Christina Lewis)
10. Riana Lynn: She’s on a mission to change up how we eat and what we eat, and she’s doing it with tech over at FoodTrace. Coming from a tech/science background, Lynn set out to learn all she could about how we distribute food so that she could create a whole new set of tools for everyone from farmers to agricultural leaders. With the FoodTrace system, you can know exactly where your food is coming from. (Photo via Riana Lynn)
11. Nichelle McCall: This CEO and entrepreneur teaches others how to build a successful company in 14 months, because that’s what she did. McCall’s company is BOLD Guidance. The program helps students find their way through one of the most difficult parts of college: the application process. Even better, they can do it all with their phones and their counselors can keep tabs on their progress. McCall took her experiences as a first-generation college student and is helping a new generation work out the kinks of getting a college education. (Photo via Nichelle McCall)
Which women in tech inspire you most? Let us know in the comments!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com