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Proposed Changes To Carried Interest Would Negatively Impact Diversity In Venture Capital

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Carried interest rule changes could have a negative affect on the venture industry’s inclusion.
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In his must-read new book, Post Corona, Scott Galloway calls Section 1202 a tax law that “is nothing but a transfer of wealth from other taxpayers to venture capitalists”. In my previous article on Section 1202, I address how it’s actually not Section 1202 that’s a problem.
It’s Carried Interest.
If you want to pick on a tax law that is that “is nothing but a transfer of wealth from other taxpayers to venture capitalists,” look no further than the historical treatment of Carried Interest, which is taxed as Capital Gains instead of as Ordinary Income. Many have predicted that with a new Democratic Congress and Executive that this tax treatment will change – and Carried Interest will soon be taxed as Ordinary Income. 
However, the Capital Gains Tax treatment of Carried Interest has a far greater impact on billionaire buyout fund managers than Section 1202, which is focused on startups, not buyouts. 
On the one hand, a change to the Carried Interest tax treatment is needed. Billionaires need to pay their fair share of taxes. On the other hand, Congress should be careful not to treat new venture capital firms the same as established private equity firms. Diversity is coming from new VC funds, not established ones.

The greatest total dollar impact of a change to Carried Interest will be to billionaires – large asset managers like Steve Schwartzman, Larry Fink, and Ray Dalio, who have made billions on Carried Interest, paying 20% Capital Gains tax on their primary form of compensation instead of the 91% tax they would have paid on Ordinary Income in the 1950s or the 37% tax they pay on Ordinary Income today.   
Dalio and Schwartzman have excellent biographies that every fund manager should read. Entrepreneurship is hard – especially at the beginning. But that’s not unique to them or anyone else. And they’ve paid record-low tax rates compared to the uber-wealthy of previous generations.

Since the 1960’s, the US has been subsidizing its current lifestyle by taxing the poor and the next generation unfairly so that billionaires can be bigger billionaires. As a result, the US has a $3 Trillion deficit – and it’s only getting worse due to COVID.
So, yes, a change does need to be made to the tax treatment of Carried Interest.
However, Congress should consider the impact of changes to Carried Interest on diversity and give a 0% Capital Gains tax break on the first $10 million – as Section 1202 does – and then tax the rest as Ordinary Income. 
This would ensure that Jesse Draper of Halogen Ventures is not treated in the same way as Steve Schwartzman of Blackstone. Because Jesse and her Principals and Associates are building a brand new firm and should be able to use that initial carried interest from their early investment wins to continue to build the firm, hire more talent, and invest in more underrepresented founders at the pre-seed, seed, and Series A stages.
Fund managers raising a $10MM first-time venture capital fund are not the same as billionaire buyout or hedge fund managers with a $1Bn first-time buyout or hedge fund. The total carried interest on a top-performing $10MM venture fund is something like $2-5MM – and pays out after 5-10 years. The carried interest on a top-performing $1Bn hedge fund is $200-500MM. 
That’s a 100x difference. Clearly, not all carried interest is the same. Assuming a 2x on a $10MM fund versus a $1 Billion fund, a 20% carried interest is $2MM versus $200MM respectively. The 17% tax differential between Ordinary Income and Capital Gains is $340K versus $34MM respectively.

Calculation of Carried Interest on a $10MM fund vs. a $1Bn fund (assuming 2x and 2% fee/20% carry)
E. Edwards
Assuming a 2x return, my carried interest on my first $10M venture capital fund could put one of my two daughters through college. Steve Schwartzman’s carried interest on his first $1Bn Buyout fund could buy a G6 jet.
New venture capital funds are small businesses – and they should be treated by the SBA and IRS as such.
At most, Congress could institute a lifetime max on Section 1202 benefits, but venture capital is already the red-headed stepchild of Alternative Investments – and if any generous diversity-loving individual or family office LP is going to go to the trouble of figuring out how to underwrite first-time fund managers, especially diverse ones, they deserve the industry’s and the IRS’s full support.
If the US is to increase diversity in venture capital, it won’t get it by promoting people in existing funds up the narrow ladder established by white men.
No, more diversity in venture capital is promoted by helping first-time women and BIPOC fund managers raise their first few funds, gain a greater share of the 99% currently controlled by white men—and Section1202 QSBS and the Capital Gains Tax Treatment of Carried Interest helps, like it or not.
So, Congress, go ahead and make the change, but use extreme caution when making changes to the tax treatment of Carried Interest to avoid hurting the progress being made by female and BIPOC fund managers, giving special consideration to the first $10 million just as Section 1202 does in order to continue to promote much-needed diversity in venture capital.

Biden Makes Changes To PPP Loans: What You Need To Know

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By Neil Hare

President Biden announced changes that make it easier for businesses with fewer than 20 employees to … [+] get loans.
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In an early move to put his stamp on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), on February 22, 2021, President Biden announced some new changes that make it easier for businesses with fewer than 20 employees to get loans, and puts enhanced scrutiny on some of the largest borrowers. In a public address and subsequent White House written release, Biden laid out some “reforms” to the PPP, the SBA’s loan to grant program now in its third round of funding.
On December 27, 2020, Congress passed, and former President Donald Trump signed into law, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act (Economic Aid Act), which authorized an additional $284 billion for PPP. The new funding is for first-time borrowers and businesses who received a PPP loan during the first rounds and saw a decrease in gross receipts of 25% or more in any quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Biden’s intent with his PPP changes is to give the smallest businesses time to apply before larger firms, perhaps, take the lion’s share of this round, which is currently open until March 31, 2021. The president instituted a 14-day period starting Wednesday, February 24, 2021, during which only small businesses with 20 or fewer employees can apply, giving them time to compile the necessary paperwork and for lenders to focus on them. The White House noted that 98% of American small businesses have fewer than 20 employees.
In addition to this moratorium, the president announced the following additional changes:
1. More aid for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed
Biden announced a change in how loan amounts are calculated to provide more help for sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals, which include home repair contractors, beauticians, and small independent retailers. Biden noted that these businesses make up a significant majority of all businesses, many of which are people of color, and businesses without employees are “70% owned by women and people of color.”

Many of these businesses only received small amounts of PPP funding due to the structure of the program. Under current guidelines, a PPP loan for a business with employees and on a payroll system is calculated by taking one month of payroll and multiplying that figure by 2.5. For independent contractors, sole proprietors, and self-employed, their calculated loan amount is based on an average month of “net income” or gross revenue minus taxes and expenses (Schedule C on their tax returns) multiplied by 2.5. In many cases, this formula has resulted in very small PPP loans to those individuals.
To address this problem, the Biden Administration stated it will “revise the loan calculation formula for these applicants so that it offers more relief and establish a $1 billion set aside for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas.”
2. Provide relief for non-fraud convicted felons
The current PPP excludes a business if it is at least 20% owned by an individual who has either an arrest or conviction for a felony related to financial assistance fraud within the previous five years or any other felony within the previous year.
The White House explained it is adopting reforms from the PPP Second Chance Act, a bipartisan bill co-sponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rob Portman (R-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and James Lankford (R-OK), which would eliminate the restriction on anyone with any felony conviction within the last year unless the applicant or owner is incarcerated at the time of the application.
3. Include business owners who are delinquent on student loans
The new reforms will eliminate an exclusion that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining PPP loans. Currently, the PPP is not available to any business with at least 20% ownership by an individual who is currently delinquent or has defaulted within the last seven years on a federal debt, including a student loan. Biden noted that “millions of Americans are delinquent on student loans, including a disproportionate number of Black borrowers.”
4. Provide PPP to non-citizen lawful residents
While the PPP statute does permit all lawful U.S. residents like green card and visa holders to access the program, a lack of guidance from the SBA has created some confusion. Many such businesses owners use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) to pay their taxes, and there is a lack of clarity whether they can use their ITIN to apply for PPP. According to the White House, “The SBA will issue clear guidance in the coming days that otherwise eligible applicants cannot be denied access to the PPP because they use ITINs to pay their taxes.”
Biden seeks to address equitable distribution and transparency
As the goal of the first two rounds of PPP were to get funding in the hands of small business owners as quickly as possible, mainly to keep workers on the payroll, some of the usual requirements for SBA loans were waived. Primarily, businesses were only required to self-certify that they lacked access to “capital elsewhere,” something that needs documentation for typical SBA loans. And, they also needed to attest that “economic uncertainty” required the loan. These easing of regulations led some to conclude that fraud and abuse ran rampant through the program.
Further, certain companies like Shake Shack, Sweetgreen, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, and recently a company owned by star quarterback Tom Brady, received funding, causing a public relations backlash. In many cases, the companies followed the rules and complied with the requirements; however, some claimed that while they technically met the requirements, they should have stood back and let small- and minority-owned businesses get to the front of the line. In response, the SBA created a safe harbor where companies could return PPP loans with no questions asked, and many larger borrowers did just that.
It has been correctly well documented that businesses with CFOs, comptrollers, bookkeepers CPAs, lawyers, and those that have strong banking relationships found it much easier and faster to receive loans. Many of the smallest businesses lack these resources.
Biden laid out the following measures that claims to address fairness and transparency:
In order to address waste, fraud, and abuse, unlike with the previous round of the PPP, borrowers will now need loan guaranty approval contingent on passing SBA fraud checks, the Treasury’s Do Not Pay database, and public records. For borrowers of the largest loans, presumably over $2 million plus a “random sampling of other loans,” the SBA will now conduct manual loan reviews.
In an effort to “promote transparency and accountability,” the White House announced a new and improved PPP loan application. The new application will encourage self-reporting of demographic data to “better illustrate the impact the PPP is having across various population segments.” Reading between the lines, on the down side, this measure will give some borrowers pause as they feel the need to disclose more personal information than previously required; on the upside, it will provide more tracking on the back end of the impact of funds across different communities.
The SBA will also improve key areas of its website to help borrowers with tips, tools, and information to understand the various relief options available and how to complete loan applications. This upgrade to the website will coincide with increased outreach to stakeholders, businesses with fewer than 20 employees, minority- and women-owned businesses, and businesses in economically disadvantaged communities, in order for the SBA to hear about those businesses’ needs and to address them.
Finally, the White House seeks to “enhance” the relationship between the SBA and lenders to provide more small businesses with access to the capital they need. In its statement, the Administration described this effort as an “opportunity for lenders to provide recommendations and ask questions about the PPP and drive resolution of open questions and concerns in a more streamlined way.” This could be a very benign and commendable initiative or a back-door mechanism for enhanced banking regulations. Only time will tell.
What are the bigger implications of Biden’s changes to the PPP loan program?
While these new reforms are not earth-shattering on their face, they do signal several aspects of the new Biden Administration. On the plus side, their focus on the smallest businesses and those in the most economically disadvantaged areas is a positive step to allowing more businesses access to PPP. The economic impact of Covid on all small businesses is yet to be fully understood and calculated. More help is needed—and fast—to survive what is hopefully the last leg of Covid.
It also is positive that Biden is addressing the needs of small businesses early in his Administration. While small businesses are always cited as the “backbone of our economy” and the biggest creators of jobs and innovation, they are often forgotten when big business brings its muscle to the table and policy is finalized.
The negative signal here, however, is that the speed with which the original PPP funding was deployed could be replaced with more bureaucracy on both the front end of applying and the back end when applying for forgiveness. This will certainly be the case for large borrowers, as Biden noted that he didn’t consider businesses with 500 employees as small, despite the SBA defining them as such. The message is also clear for the banking industry that there’s a new sheriff in town, and more scrutiny and regulations are likely.
RELATED: EIDL Alert: Why You Must Read the Fine Print of Any Loan Agreement
About the Author
Neil Hare is an attorney with the law firm McCarthy Wilson LLP, and President of Global Vision Communications, where he specializes in small business policy, advocacy, and communications campaigns; follow him on Twitter @nehare and on LinkedIn. See more of Neil’s articles and full bio on AllBusiness.com.

Fraudulent investments: How to detect them in 6 steps

February 23, 2021 6 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

In recent days, the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) authorized the first platform for loans between people to operate as a Collective Funding Institution (IFC) under the Law to Regulate Financial Technology Institutions ( Fintech Law ).
With this, there are already 93 fintech companies that are in the authorization process of the CNBV, the Bank of Mexico and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, among them 34 collective funding platforms or crowdfunding .
“In Latin America we are very used to saving, but not to investing. Until recently it was seen as something reserved for people who had a lot of money. There has been a change in mentality mainly because there is more information on financial education in the last five years, ”commented Héctor Sosa, investor and author of the podcast Goodbye to your boss and spokesperson for the   Inversiones 2020 Forum, in an interview with Entrepreneur en Español .
The specialist pointed out that one of the investment tools that has grown the most in the region is crowdfunding because it allows you to participate with very small amounts, as well as how it is very fast and easy to open your account.
“I like crowdfunding because it democratizes access to investments, but there is a risk. As more and more people enter the investment ecosystem, many times they do so without sufficient information and even with a bit of innocence ”, says Sosa.
How to know if an investment is a fraud
Image: Depositphotos.com
Sosa, who is also the author of the books Investments: everything you need to know to start investing and Multiple sources of income: how to make money on the internet , points out before entering any investment platform you must investigate, know if it is in process regulation and adjust expectations when entering.
“You have to be aware of the tax obligations that you are going to acquire. You will likely expand your income and that will generate taxes. You have to pay attention if what you generate in returns justifies that ‘additional job’, so to speak, “says the expert. “It is important to compare before choosing an investment instrument. There are platforms, beyond collective funding, that also offer very good opportunities. The best thing is to determine which are the most appropriate options according to your profile, the risk you want to assume and the plan you have with your money ”.
Sosa offered us six keys to identify an investment that is fraudulent.
1. Offers unrealistic returns: Generally they will offer you impossible fixed interests. “They tell you ‘I’m going to pay you 10% per month’, but how is that possible if the reference rate is at 4% per year and that makes no sense. A profit of more than 50% per year is out of proportion. To measure, a yield of 20% per year in a consistent way for the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV), – a market that is volatile, but gives good returns -, is extraordinary and very specific conditions have to be given ”.
2. They cannot explain to you how they generate value: “The people in charge of the investment or business involve them explaining the origin of the profits in semi-exotic instruments such as cryptocurrencies, cannabis, trading, etc. From the point of view of people who do not know about these tools it sounds very complex, but the reality is that they only earn with the extra money that comes in. ”
3. If something sounds too good to be true, maybe it is not: “Just because an investment model is advertised on radio, television or in the press does not mean that it is legitimate and reliable. You always have to investigate. If something sounds too good, find information about it. ”
4. They ask you to recruit new people: “If the business pays you for the number of people you bring, it is a pyramid scheme that is only supported by the new money that the recruits inject. Only those who are at the top of the model win. There are multilevels that are legal, but ponzi or flower of abundance scams also use that scheme a lot. ”
5. They are not regulated: “If something is not monitored by the CNBV , the Bank of Mexico and the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit , or the Association of Collective Funding Platforms (Afico) if it is crowdfunding, you risk losing all your money ”.
6. It is unsustainable in the long term: “If the business cannot be replicated. You’re actually putting your ‘wool’ into something that you don’t know if you’re going to see it again. ”
Whenever you want to enter into an investment, be it crowdfunding or multi-level, analyze how they work, what are their risks and benefits, as well as their tax obligations. Look for reviews on blogs, YouTube channels, specialized media, social networks and podcasts to know the experience of other users.
“We must be proud that fintech companies and crowdfunding have grown so much in Mexico. Like everything else, it has its pros and cons and its good and bad players, but this sector is here to stay, it will continue to grow and it is worth understanding how it works, “concluded the finance expert.

Looking Inward Can Make You a Better Leader

February 23, 2021 6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If I asked you to make a list of all the things you need to do for your job, what would be on it? No doubt you would include key projects, internal and external communication, goal setting and strategy, recruiting and mentoring. All of those are essential aspects of leadership, of course, but they leave out an equally important side of your job — inner work. Inner work can be defined as mental acts or activities focused in your inner world to achieve a purpose or result.
Leaders are understandably focused on their external performance, but as legendary CEO of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt says, “Leadership is this intense journey into yourself.” 
In the race for productivity, we often overlook activities that help us to maintain our emotional equilibrium, to approach others with empathy, and to refresh our creativity. But this inner work is actually part of every leader’s job. It is an essential part of what you get paid to do.  
Related: 3 Reasons Investing in Employee Resilience Pays Off
Bringing inner work out of the shadows
What sort of activities constitute inner work? These are not new-fangled interventions but tried-and-true methods of self-care and reflection such us meditation, journaling, spending time in nature, seeking help from a therapist or coach, and prayer. Decades of evidence show engaging in these activities can reduce stress, boost creativity, improve well-being and ultimately increase engagement at work and professional performance. 
Despite all the research supporting the impact of these interventions, many executives would feel guilty or embarrassed to put “nature walk” or “prayer” on their calendar. That reflects an outdated view of work. 
Related: Does Meditation Make You More Productive? These 5 Entrepreneurs and CEOs Think So.
The reality is that creative work is nonlinear. You may have hours or days of apparent “unproductivity,” followed by a sudden, valuable burst of output. Most likely, those “lost” hours weren’t unproductive at all. They were actually filled with the inner work necessary to make the later breakthrough possible. 
If you’re doing any form of knowledge work — and as John Hagel, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison point out, pretty much everyone is a knowledge worker these days — inner work isn’t a nice extra for you to pursue during your personal time or feel guilty about secretly doing. It’s an essential investment in yourself that helps you maximize your effectiveness and impact. Achieving greater clarity, centeredness and creativity are all possible with regular inner work. 
Charles Darwin famously brought his toughest problems to his “thinking path” outside his home in Kent as he walked and contemplated his way through them. For the luminary who forever changed the course of science, it wasn’t hours working away in a laboratory but pensive walks around his house that fostered his breakthroughs. Siddhartha Gautama is said to have sat for seven weeks under a bodhi tree to obtain enlightenment. He was still on the outside, but on the inside, he was engaging in intense inner work, the insights of which would spark a religious revolution and birth one of the world’s great wisdom traditions. 
Getting started on inner work 
Leaders have been engaging in inner work forever. From Roman emperor, Marcus Aurelius, to civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr., regular inner work has afforded leaders the opportunity to center themselves, gather their thoughts and galvanize their impact by more closely aligning their actions with their values. It’s time to bring inner work out of the shadows and formally acknowledge its value. Recharging and reflecting shouldn’t be hidden or a source of guilt. Inner work should be celebrated. That is the first step to creating both a personal routine and an organization that is friendly to inner work. 
At my company, we have formalized our support for inner work by offering employees five paid “Inner Work Days” a year in addition to their usual vacation time. We encourage them to take these days to engage in whatever activities help them do their best work, be that pursuing a hobby or taking a digital detox. By paying them to do these things, we underline that taking care of yourself isn’t separate from your work — it’s the most essential part of your job. 
While this formal approach is one possible route to nurturing inner work, it’s not the only one. The good news is most of the interventions that research shows boost our ability to excel at work are easy to get started with. And, they are free — or pretty close to free. For example, you don’t need paid time off to begin meditating. All you need is your breath and a little instruction. 
To get started with inner work, you do need to dedicate some time to it, which is why my biggest piece of advice for leaders who want to elevate inner work is to schedule it, just as you would schedule any other priority into your calendar. Adding 30 minutes of white space into your day for whatever form of inner work you find most beneficial not only ensures that it doesn’t get pushed aside by everyday busyness but also serves as a reminder that looking inward is valuable work too. 
Related: 5 Tips to Build Mental Fitness Within Your Teams
To build on the benefits of time devoted to inner work, encourage team members to share its benefits. We have a Slack channel dedicated to inner work where employees share pictures of their Inner Work Days or insights learned from books they read. It serves as a celebration and validation of inner work, and it also builds a sense of community as employees recognize they are all on a journey of self-improvement together. 
Which is the whole point. There is nothing revolutionary about inner work. The scientific case for these activities is clear, and you are likely already familiar with them. The essential change to make isn’t mastering the science or complexities of inner work. It’s seeing it as a key part of your professional, not just personal, development. Realizing that the gap between those two is much narrower than you may think will make you a better leader. 

Learn How to Create Apps for the Newest Android 11

Android’s new OS is here and now’s the time to learn to code for it.
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February 23, 2021 2 min read
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The newest Android 11 is here and, with it, a slew of new features and capabilities for developers. For technical-minded entrepreneurs, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with technology so that your products are always the best they can be, and are presented in an optimized format. As such, now is a great time to learn Android 11 and there are few better resources to do so than The Complete Android 11 Developer Bundle.
This 11-course bundle comprises nearly 40 hours of content on Android programming fundamentals for beginners and veterans alike. With courses from instructors like Mashrur Hossain (4.5/5 instructor rating), ZENVA (4.4/5 instructor rating), and Mammoth Interactive (4.2/5 instructor rating), you’ll be in capable hands as you learn how to get the most out of Android apps.
Through a number of courses, you’ll get up to speed with general Android programming techniques. You’ll learn to develop simple mobile applications using Android Studio and Java, as well as the official Android coding language: Kotlin. From there, you’ll learn how to add interactivity and experience elements into your apps using Java and other UI techniques. There are also courses dedicated to networking and handling tasks in Android.
Additionally, there is an extensive 15-hour course dedicated to Android 11, the most dynamic and resilient OS to date. You’ll learn basic app-building in this new OS, Kotlin fundamentals, and much more through hands-on coding and exercises.
Get up to speed with the newest Android OS. Get The Complete Android 11 Developer Bundle for just $39.99 today.
Don’t forget to check out DiversyFund to start investing in private real estate in 2021. You don’t have to be in the 1% to get started. Invest today for as low as $500.
Prices subject to change.

This Oklahoma Town Will Give You $10,000 Buy a House If You Move There to Work Remote

A recruitment effort within the state’s second-largest city wants to entice more remote workers to settle there. It’ll even throw in an Airbnb credit so you can try before you buy.
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February 23, 2021 2 min read
If you’re a city-dweller who dreams of homeownership but can’t stomach the astronomical prices in large metro areas like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco or Austin, one enterprising, Oklahoma-based recruitment organization has an offer for you. Since 2018, Remote Tulsa — which was developed by regional nonprofit George Kaiser Family Foundation — has offered perks to remote workers who move to its namesake city from other areas of the country. And today, it’s announced that it will contribute $10,000 toward the purchase of a home to people who want to plant roots in the south central U.S. hub.
The average cost of a house in Tulsa is just $157,000, so $10,000 would cover nearly one-third of a 20% down payment. But as an added sweetener, Remote Tulsa’s offering a $500 travel stipend and $150 credit in partnership with Airbnb to remote workers who want to test-drive Tulsa first. 
Related: With Working from Home Here to Stay, Expect These 5 Things to Change
The mid-size city of about 400,000 people has been putting serious money behind attracting highly educated remote workers to its community for more than three years, long before the pandemic made telecommuting commonplace for a significant portion of the population.
Remote Tulsa has offered $10,000 grants to more than 500 remote workers who’ve relocated there since its inception, but with this new program, it’ll give qualified remote workers that $10,000 in a lump sum (it was previously paid in installments) if they commit to using it toward purchasing a home in the Tulsa area. 
To qualify, workers must be 18 years of age, legally able to work in the U.S., either self-employed or able to work remote, currently living outside of Oklahoma and willing to relocate there for at least one year.
Related: 17 Major Companies That Have Announced Employees Can Work Remotely Long Term

More Youthful Entrepreneurs With Moxie

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I’ve now had the opportunity to talk with a number of entrepreneurs still too young to rent a car, if not buy a drink, and I always walk away impressed at the drive and determination they possess at an age when most of us were still struggling to figure things out, if we’d even gotten so far as to make that effort.  
Most recently I spoke with Naomi Porter, a 16 year old serial entrepreneur, education reform advocate, and student leader.  She founded Spice It Up, Bright Futures and EntrepreYOUership from her home in Los Angeles.  Naomi founded Spice It Up, a company that sells travel spice kits that are portable and affordable. The kit is reusable, waterproof, and lightweight- perfect for all adventures.  Next, she launched Bright Futures, where she manages a team that serves students requiring academic support.  Finally, recently, Naomi founded EntrepreYOUership to provide youth with access to entrepreneurial education by providing free workshops and mentoring to youth interested in entrepreneurship.

Young entrepreneur Naomi Porter
Naomi Porter
Mary Juetten: When did you start?
Naomi Porter: My first business, Spice it Up, was launched when I was 11.  When traveling or camping, I noticed it was inconvenient to pack bulky spice containers.  There were no compact, travel kits on the marketplace, so I created a product to meet this need. 

Serial entrepreneurs are always looking for the next way to help their community.  Bright Futures was launched when I was 13 because I noticed many sixth graders struggling with the academic and organizational demands of middle school and knew I could help.  
EntrepreYOUership was launched when I was 15.  One barrier to entrepreneurship is that young people have limited access to information about how to get started.  As a self-educated entrepreneur, I noticed a lack of classes and extracurricular opportunities for youth to learn about and practice entrepreneurship.  My work addresses this need by providing free youth led workshops and connecting participants to start up funding opportunities.

Juetten: What problem are you solving?
Porter: My work is centered around making our world a more sustainable and equitable place and each of my businesses aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals, as outlined by the United Nations:
Spice it Up aligns with S.D.G. 12, which is to ensure sustainable consumption by substantially reducing waste generation through prevention, reduction, and reuse. Spice It Up meets this goal by providing a product that embraces the need to reduce unnecessary consumption through reusable products. 
Bright Futures aligns with S.D.G. 8 by promoting youth employment, education, and training. Tutors receive ongoing training and support to help them achieve the company’s vision.
EntrepreYOUership addresses the lack of access to affordable entrepreneurial education.  Through investing in and mentoring young entrepreneurs, this project addresses S.D.G. 8, which aims to “promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”. The U.N. clearly outlines youth employment, education, and training as an area of need.  My work equips youth to make their own jobs, based on needs and opportunities they identify in their communities.
Entrepreneurship is the future and we need to work together to create better pathways into the jobs of today and tomorrow.  Young people need access to entrepreneurial education that can lead each of us on a path of professional stability.  
Juetten: Who are your customers and how do you find them?
Porter: Spice kits are sold through my company’s Instagram account and at local trade fairs, holiday boutiques, and events.  Clients for Bright Futures are found through local advertising.  Our company donates gift certificates valid for free tutoring services that are auctioned at school fundraisers, which yields a steady flow of clients.  
EntrepreYOUership provides free entrepreneurial education by partnering with existing organizations that serve youth.  We host online workshops that are innovative, attractive, and with a payoff.  Our workshops include social interaction and business plan writing support, without excessive lectures or powerpoints. The payoff is that participants have access to start up funds and their businesses are promoted through social media platforms. We have hosted 25+ workshops for 250+ youth. 
Our team hosts conversational “Think Tank” sessions where youth receive support from teen entrepreneurs and peers. This provides feedback and support, leading to thoughtful and viable business plans that address these questions:   How is your business different than your competition’s? What marketing strategies will ensure success?  Who will buy your product/access your service?  What physical items do you need to get started?    
Juetten: How did past projects and/or experience help with this new project?
Porter: Through my work as an entrepreneur, I have realized that there is an intersection between entrepreneurship and activism.  Many of the social problems we face are opportunities for entrepreneurial minds to address them.  The path forward to address climate change, racial inequalities, and economic injustices will require young people to look at our individual talents and ask: “How can I use my talents and passions to make the world a better place?”  
My advocacy work is focused on changing the way we educate youth.  I am spending my life creating more access and equity in our education system so that all young people can be equipped with an entrepreneurial mindset.   
My work to widen access to entrepreneurial education has been inspired by my personal experience.  My top-rated Southern California school has few pathways, courses, programs, or extracurriculars for students interested in business and entrepreneurship.  For this reason, I have created my own path that involves self-education, independent research, and seeking mentor support.  
EntrepreYOUership is a pathway that gives youth access to education, resources, and support.  This began as my Girl Scout Gold Award project, but has evolved into an ongoing project to serve youth while advocating for the inclusion and expansion of entrepreneurial education in our communities. 
Juetten: Who is on your team?
Porter: With EntrepreYOUership, I intentionally recruited a diverse team from across the United States, including African American, Caucasian, Asian, and Latinx teen entrepreneurs.  It gives young people confidence to enter spaces when they can connect with someone they identify with.   
This project is youth-led in order to debunk the myth that entrepreneurship is reserved for adults with fancy degrees who have access to venture capital.  Our tagline is “You can do it too” because we want youth to see themselves as entrepreneurs who can create a product or service, even when they are young. 
Juetten: Did you raise money?
Porter: I participated in the 2017 Young Entrepreneur’s Academy Start Up Funding Competition and won $250 in funds to purchase materials for Spice it Up.  Funding for EntrepreYOUership was provided by my Girl Scout troop as a part of my Girl Scout Gold Award.  
Juetten: Startups are an adventure — what’s your favorite startup story? 
Porter: My favorite startup stories involve building connections between people through conversations, community building, and personal growth. The Human Library, a Denmark-based organization, addresses people’s prejudices by using a library analogy of lending people who are trained as books. This organization emphasizes the importance of understanding each other’s life experiences and differences in order to build a more empathetic and diverse world.  
Juetten: How do you measure success and what is your favorite success story?  
Porter: I measure success by the social impact of my work.  Being an entrepreneur is about making the world a better place.  To me, success is not about making money fast and being my own boss. Rather, it’s about identifying a need, finding a solution, building a team, and serving others.  
At the core of entrepreneurship is the practice of using your individual talents to benefit our collective society. In recent history, entrepreneurs have introduced products and services that create micro efficiencies and conveniences.  However, Generation Z needs to be equipped to achieve global outcomes.  We need entrepreneurship to address the U.N’s Sustainable Development Goals to achieve a world where our collective challenges are addressed and nobody is left behind.
My favorite success story is the Library of Things, a U.K. business built on the idea of collective ownership of material goods.  Why buy when you can borrow?  Members can borrow tents, power tools, kitchen supplies, and other items that require only occasional use.   The social impact of this organization affects the way consumers make choices by reducing consumption. 
Juetten: Any tips to add for early-stage founders or CEOs in growth mode?
Porter:  
When things aren’t going right, go left. One year into my first business venture, my sales fell flat.  Word of mouth sales only carry you so far and listing your product online doesn’t guarantee sales. I had to try something different, so I reached out to over 50 travel gear websites, asking them to review my product.  Gearhose published a product review in 2018 which boosted our visibility and sales.  
Find a way for your business to stand out. When creating a business as generic as a tutoring company, I had to look for an edge. Why would clients choose our company?  Bright Futures stands out because we offer midweek check-ins between tutoring sessions to talk with our clients about the skills we practiced. This offers accountability and lets our clients know we care and want them to reach their full potential.   When the pandemic moved our lives online, it was a seamless transition from in person tutoring to virtual. Our clients were accustomed to using technology to connect with us. 
Juetten: What’s the long-term vision for your company?
Porter:  I am in the process of scaling up EntrepreYOUership by identifying more mentors.  Youth entrepreneurs who are in various stages of startup have valuable voices and perspectives that help new entrepreneurs.
We are expanding and widening our reach.  Our work has been entirely virtual, so we have the infrastructure to engage students worldwide.  I am continually looking for organizations that want to collaborate to equip their youth with an entrepreneurial mindset through our workshops and think tank sessions.
The success of our 2020 Start Up Funding competition has led me to seek further funding so that we can help more youth secure the physical items and materials needed to launch. As the opportunity for in-person events returns, we hope to offer conferences and workshops to help more youth explore entrepreneurship. 
Thanks to Naomi for taking some time from her many ventures to answer my questions. Her work ethic appears second-to-none, and her approach to entrepreneurship and activism is certainly inspiring. #onwards

Small Business Planner

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I’ve ran small businesses for 23 years now (total). Most of those years I never really did much to track anything. 
When I started blogging, I started keeping a Blogging Binder and it’s been so pivotal to my growth in my blog, but I also really needed something for my other businesses.
Being organized and having a system has really changed everything for me. It’s upped my profits because it’s the best way I can quickly see patterns and it saves me time by being organized! 
If you’re a small business, it’s VITAL you have a plan in place and a planner to keep all your pertinent information in one easy and convenient place!!!
This Small Business Planner is your perfect solution. It has everything you need and nothing you don’t! It’s quick and easy to fill out and won’t suck up a lot of ink. 🙂 

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What you’ll find in the Small Business Planner pdf…
Cover
Spines (1″, 1 1/2″, 2″, 3″, 4″)
Business Values
Business Branding
Business Goals
Ideas Journal
Monthly Plan
Daily Plan
Weekly Plan
Password Tracker
Client Info.
Monthly Goals
Suppliers List
Monthly Trends
Product Inventory
Supplies Inventory
Yearly Profits
Other Contacts
Monthly Tracker
Time Log
Annual Goals
Tax Deductions
To-Do List
Stop List
Monthly Overview
Key Dates
Income Tracker
Expenses Tracker
My Favorite Pages
It’s kind of hard to choose my favorite pages in the Small Business Planner printable because they are all extremely helpful, but I do have a few favs. 🙂
Daily Plan
Being a small business owner, things can get hectic! This is a great Daily Plan printable. Everything you need to keep your day organized on one page like a diary! 

I know that I NEVER want to miss an important day or event.  That’s why I like this Key Dates printable template. It’s the perfect place to fill in the important dates for your business.

Income Tracker
The Income Tracker printable provides space for Month, Date, Description, Source, and Amount. This simple and clean design is easy to read and even easier to fill in!

Expense Tracker
The Expense Tracker printable provides the same space as the Income Tracker, Month, Date, Description, Source, and Amount. It’s important to keep records of all the expenses for your business! 

Tax Deduction
Another favorite is the Tax Deduction printable. This will also be helpful for your accountant when tax time comes! 

Get your Small Business Planner here.

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Free Webinar | March 11: A Small Business Guide to Accessing Resources

Join restaurateur Karl Franz Williams for insight on leveraging monetary and community resources to build small businesses.
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Being an entrepreneur requires hustle. All entrepreneurs know there are a variety of ways to get things done – and when they can figure out how to gain access to leverageable resources, they can create extraordinarily successful businesses.
Join nationally recognized restaurateur Karl Franz Williams, as he discusses ways for small businesses to finance their company – and provides insight into helping small business owners assess what is the right approach for their business.
Lesson 1: Access to Knowledge & Opportunity Resources
Lesson 2: Access to Capital
Lesson 3: Access to Community Networks
Register Now
Karl Franz Williams is a nationally recognized restaurateur and mixologist from Harlem, New York, whose popular cocktail lounges throughout the tri-state area are inspired by lost stories of African American culinary history and culture. His ventures employ over 80 employees and he has been recognized for industry leadership and quality by the Clinton Foundation, NY Times, Forbes, NY Mag, and more. Karl is also a founding member of Harlem Park to Park, a neighborhood merchant association formed to help more local businesses succeed, and a board member of the NY Hospitality Alliance.

This Translation Device Streamlines International Communication

If you need translation services, look no further than the Langogo Summit.
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February 23, 2021 2 min read
Disclosure: Our goal is to feature products and services that we think you’ll find interesting and useful. If you purchase them, Entrepreneur may get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners.
The world is changing rapidly, and more business is done internationally today than before. International entrepreneurs are solving some of the world’s greatest crises, and they’re doing so through collaborative efforts. How do you increase collaboration? You improve communication. And you improve communication by breaking down language barriers. Entrepreneurs in all industries can benefit from the kind of on-demand translation services that the Langogo Summit Multi-Functional Language Translator & Voice Transcriber Recorder can provide.
The Langogo Summit is an extraordinary AI-powered simultaneous interpreter and speech-to-text transcriber designed to streamline business communications. It’s powered by 24 world-leading translation engines, providing quick, highly-accurate translations in 104 languages. It even translates against different accents and dialects.
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This device is equipped with four omnidirectional microphones and an AGC algorithm that can record up to four hours of a single speech. As it does, it instantly transcripts the words on the screen so you can immediately view what’s being said. Likewise, it saves transcripts so you can focus on a presentation in another language and go back and review the transcript later. It even supports photo translation for 46 languages, thanks to the 8MP camera and OCR recognition technology, so you can translate menus while traveling abroad, product manuals, contracts, and more. Plus, the self-learning algorithm and continuous updates constantly improve the Langogo Summit’s performance for more precise use.
Streamline your communications while conducting international business or simply traveling abroad. The Langogo Summit Multi-Functional Language Translator & Voice Transcriber Recorder is normally $399 but you can save 37 percent off when you get it for $249.99 today.
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