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Introducing MAF’s Self-Employment Webinar Series

In this new political context, when our community told us that maintaining financial security was their top concern, we decided to invest in promoting self-employment. We decided to invest in the ingenuity of our communities.

This year, Mission Asset Fund debuted our self-employment webinar series. We designed this series to support entrepreneurs as they navigate different self-employment options and set up their business. We’re excited to continue building resources that empower people to be their own boss.

What inspired us

MAF has always believed in building programs that respond to the community. So, when the Trump administration rescinded DACA in 2017, MAF responded with immediacy and resolve. Within weeks, we launched a nationwide fee assistance grant program to cover the USCIS filing fee for DACA renewals. As a series of new legal developments unfolded over the next months, our work continued. Over the course of five months, MAF issued over 7,500 fee assistance grant checks across the nation. We later surveyed the recipients of our fee assistance grant program to learn more about how we can continue to build programs that meet their needs. Through our findings, we found that 76% of the individuals we surveyed were using DACA, and the accompanying work authorization, to pay for their family’s basic living expenses. We also heard that financial security was a top concern for individuals – in fact, 68% of those surveyed cited a worry about not being able to work because of legal status.

We wanted to build a program for communities across the nation who are facing financial uncertainty, and we believe that self-employment is an important option to consider, especially when traditional employment is not accessible.  

PART ONE: Explore Self-Employment: Discover Options to Work for Yourself

Part one of our webinar series, Explore Self-Employment: Discover Options to Work for Yourself, highlighted independent contracting, gig economy work, professional licenses, and how to start a business. We encourage you to check out some of the guides we created for these topics. Attendees also participated in self-reflection exercises to think about the intersection between their passions and their skillset, and plan the next steps in their self-employment journey – whether or not you’re planning to start a business, take a look at these reflection exercises

If you missed our live webinar, you can watch the webinar recording below:

Meet the Entrepreneurs

Meet the inspiring entrepreneurs featured on the webinar!

PART TWO: Being an Independent Contractor: Transforming your Skills into Self-Employment

Part two of our self-employment webinar series covered the ins and outs of independent contract work: how to market yourself and your work, how to use online freelancing platforms, and how to navigate tax and legal considerations. We heard from a number of experts. Drew Yukelson, Program Manager at Samaschool, shared these useful resources to get started on your self-employment journey, including a link to Samaschool’s free online course on independent contract work. Iliana Perez, Entrepreneurship Initiative Manager at E4FC, offered her expertise on how to navigate immigration considerations as an entrepreneur, and shared a comprehensive new guide from Immigrants Rising: “A Guide to Working for Yourself.” 

Watch ‘Being an Independent Contractor: Transforming your Skills into Self-Employment’. 

PART THREE: From Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Form an LLC Business

In part three of our self-employment webinar series, we explored the process of formalizing a business as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). Entrepreneurs Patricia Murguia and Pablo Solares-Rowbury used their personal experiences with starting an LLC to a) highlight the benefits of forming an LLC and b) share some of their learnings along the way. Adria Moss of Pacific Community Ventures shared some practical advice about how you can create a business plan and manage your business operations as an LLC. Check out these tools and resources to get started on your LLC journey.

Watch ‘From Employee to Entrepreneur: How to Form an LLC Business’

What’s next?

Part four of our self-employment webinar series is in the works! We’ll be sure to keep you updated!