Friday, October 27, 2017

Four Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs To Manage Student Loan Debt by Tisa Silver Canady

Concerned about student loans blocking you from building a business? Student loan debt does not have to be a dealbreaker. Every individual is different but here are four general tips to consider when you need to manage student loan debt and you want to build a business.

1. Stay current - It is critical for you to remain up to date with your payments. Student loan payments are reported to credit bureaus and late or missed payments will have a negative impact on your credit score. Poor credit will subject you to higher interest rates or flat out rejection when applying for other loans. High interest debt will rob you of cash you could be pumping into your business. Staying current is a tip that applies to any debt but it is important to remember that federal student loans are not just any debt. The penalties for going into default are far-reaching, including seizing your tax refund and federal benefit payments, and having your wages garnished.

2. Consider consolidation – Consolidation is the process of combining at least two existing loans to create one new loan for the same amount. If recordkeeping is not your strong suit, then it may help to have one loan with one servicer and one bill to pay as opposed to having multiple loans with different servicers and separate monthly bills. Federal student loan consolidation is free. You can explore the process and complete the application online for free via Note: Federal consolidation loans often offer a longer repayment term. If you pick a longer term, you will pay more interest in the long-run. Paying extra each month can shorten your repayment term and lessen the amount of interest you pay overall.

3. Income Based Repayment – Income-based repayment plans allow you to pay based on how much you earn instead of how much you owe. This kind of flexibility may be particularly useful if you are in the process of building a business and have unstable income.  Contact your loan servicer to find out which income-based plan(s) you may be eligible for. You can estimate payments here: Repayment Estimator.

4. Search for forgiveness – There are several opportunities for student loan forgiveness, typically based on work in exchange for cancellation of debt or repayment assistance. Federal forgiveness options include Public Service Loan ForgivenessTeacher Loan Forgiveness and Perkins Loan Cancellation.  State higher education governing bodies may offer loan repayment assistance for residents who work in certain fields. Lastly, check with your employer to find out if student loan repayment assistance is offered. Keep in mind that cancelled debts and repayment assistance may have tax implications if they are treated as taxable income.

When it comes to managing your debt, do not be discouraged. Be deliberate! Get familiar with your debt, develop a personal repayment strategy and work toward finding the balance between meeting your obligations and building your business.

To find out more about Tisa Silver Canady, visit her at:

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The BOSS Network's 2017 "Ladies That Lead Tour" Recap: Lead In and Own Your Future!

Alnisa Bell, Dorinda Walker, Latoyia Dennis, Rose Rock, Toya Beasley, Cameka Smith

The BOSS Network's, "The Ladies That Lead" Tour presented by Prudential Financial, had its grand finale in Newark, NJ at the Prudential Center, on October 26th in collaboration with the Motivated Moms Tour. This event finale was all about collaboration between two brands to support sisterhood and women empowerment. Our call to action was for women to become leaders and extraordinary moms, so they can be prepared to leave a legacy for themselves and their children. 

This event was hosted by Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network along with Latoyia Dennis, Founder of Motivated Moms. Our featured speakers included Dorinda WalkerVice President of Consumer Strategy and Key Initiatives Multicultural Marketing, Prudential's U.S.Businesses, Rose Rock, Former Educator and Mother of Comedian Chris Rock, Alnisa Bell, Attorney at Seyfarth Shaw, LLC., Toya Beasley, Founder of Sista Friendz, Inc., and Michele Thornton, Senior Vice President at BET Centric. We also honored Jacqueline MillerCEO and Founder of Jacqueline DuJour Enterprises, with our "Leader In Motion" award.

Cameka Smith, Rose Rock, Latoyia Dennis
Our 3rd stop on the tour was held in in Baltimore, MD at Eubie Blake Cultural center on September 30th, women took advantage of the final stop of the tour and came out in droves to network, support and learn from like-minded women entrepreneurs and professionals.

Conversations started with Kimberly Tabb, Vice President, Administration & Business Ethics Officer at Prudential Financial Inc., who shared, if you are an entrepreneur and want to take your business to the next level, you want to make and keep more of the money you are making, then you must do three things; first, you need a financial professional, second, an accountant and final a lawyer.

Honoree of the night, Jody Davis, CEO and Designer of Jody Davis Designs, inspired those who are struggling with getting started in any area of their business or career, to simply, “get started, you won’t know if it will work, when it will work, but you will never know until you get started”. The conversations, the tips, the valuable lessons didn’t stop there, they continued with panelist Tana M. Session, Career and Life Strategist, challenged women to get paid for what they know and not just what they do. She shared it’s important to know and recognize your value and not let the hustle of acquiring new customers cheapen your brand and your knowledge base, know your worth and set your prices accordingly. 

Anita Washington, The Baggage Handler, championed women when in business meetings or meeting with a supervisor, “think first and act second”, it’s important to always gather your thoughts and frame your response in a positive and professional manner. Adriane Wilson Massey, Corporate Trainer & Strengths Coach shared that you must help other people get what they want to get what you want. Jena L. Bell, Coach International Speaker & Entrepreneur, affirmed that leadership is about mobilizing and inspiring your team to make them greater, by making your team greater, you are making you and your business greater.

Tana Session, Adriane Massey, Cameka Smith, Anita Washington, Jena Bell
The tour then traveled to Los Angles to the Olympic Collection in the lovely and luxurious, Beverly Hills, with highlights that included Dr. Cozette White, who share, “We have to learn to re-program the way that we think and stop having negative conversations in our head that allows that False Evidence Appearing Real (F.E.A.R) to be in existence”. EMMY award winning TV host, producer & social media influencer, Pili Montilla, added if you’re just starting out and money is tight, don’t settle, get a side hustle to maintain an income. Special honoree recipient Dr. Holly Carter, President and CEO of RelevĂ© Entertainment, stated the belief in partnership and mentorship are valuable growth tools and a commitment for personal investment.

Shaquawn Schasa, a Prudential Financial Professional, shared “evaluate your current financial situation, as well as your future goals. It is never too early – or too late – to start planning!” As women, we tend to tell ourselves stories about how and when we should proceed with that potential new business venture or stepping into unfamiliar territories but event speaker Patrice Washington identified and stated that you should start somewhere and as uncomfortable as it may feel you will grow. Opportunities will come and go but you can’t allow fear to stop you from making that decision, do it afraid and take the chance, the reward might be greater than the risk, a statement that lead panelist Tamica Smith Jones to Texas for her largest opportunity to date.

Cozette White, Pili Montilla, Cameka Smith, Tamica Smith Jones, Patrice Washington
This tour has been an amazing journey, the Ladies That Lead Tour kicked off on July 18th in Houston at the Health Museum, with a stellar line up which included esteemed panelist speakers Dr. Jacquie Hood Martin, Entrepreneur, Businesswoman, Life Strategist, Philanthropist and Educator, Kristyn Doar-Page, Vice President, Diversity & Inclusion at Macy's, Inc., Crystal Hadnott, Vice President of Strategic Programs & Partnerships and Executive Director for the EBONY Media Foundation.

Yvette Gavin, Business Strategist, Speaker, Trainer, and Coach. With a special honoree presentation awarded to Mia Wright, Author, Speaker, Motivator, and Co-Pastor and Director of Ministry at The Fountain of Praise church in Houston. The theme of the night “Own your vision, it starts with you” and Cameka Smith, Founder of The BOSS Network inspired women to “Focus on quality and not the quantity and your business or career will grow”.

Crystal Hadnott, Kristyn Page, Cameka Smith, Yvette Gavin, Dr. Jacquie Hood Martin
The Ladies That Lead Tour was made possible through the support of presenting sponsors Prudential Financial, Inc., Cantu Beauty and Stella Rose along with media partners Upscale Magazine, Black Enterprise, DiMe Media, Essence and Ebony and Jet. For additional highlights, pictures, and videos, please visit the and to become a member or for more information about our partners please visit the BOSS Network website!

An award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and influencer who turned her lemons into lemonade, when displaced from her job in 2009. She believes that your net-worth is a direct result of your network and has provided a platform for women of color to connect, grow and prosper in their businesses and careers.

She is the visionary and founder of "The BOSS Network" which has been featured in Black Enterprise, INC and listed in Forbes as one of the Top 10 websites to visit for career and entrepreneurial women. If you're looking for a resource as a woman of color, connect with over 100,000 bosses making moves professionally through The BOSS Network.


BOSS™ is an acronym for "Bringing Out Successful Sisters," and the Network’s mission is to promote and encourage the small business spirit and career development of women. The BOSS Network is an online community of professional and entrepreneurial women who support each other through conversation, online and event-based networking.

To find out more about the BOSS Network, please visit The BOSS Network was named as a Forbes’ “Top 10 Career and Entrepreneurial Website for Women.” With over 100,000 women globally subscribed to the mailing list and active members throughout the United States.