Parents are busy, very busy. Recent studies show that parents spend less than one hour with their children daily. My wife and I are both busy business owners; we struggle balancing home life and work life. Thankfully for my wife and I, more companies help busy parents like us manage a busy schedule. This is an interview with one of those businesses that help busy parents get a better grip on life.
Jeff Shuford: What ignited the spark in you to start your own business?
Jasmine Wall: In the Winter of 2016, my mother, Marcia Wall, was considering shutting down her daycare that she owned and operated for over 20 years. She had been in the childcare industry and teaching for over 40 years. She discovered that she needed an alternative career that would allow her to slow down and still make an income. She didn’t want to completely just sit down and do nothing, however, having more flexibility with her time was her objective. One of the many services she provided was drop-off and pick-up service for the children she cared for before and after-school. As she was deciding her exit plan, we both began to strategize her next steps professionally. So almost instantly the rideshare idea was birthed. Soon enough, my mother began to share her new business concept with her best friend. Her friend, Roszalin Barker-Evans, who is also a retired teacher of over 40 years wanted to help my mother establish the business. Roszalin is now our VP of Human Resources. Together the three of us came up with the name Kidz Mobile.
Jeff Shuford: Being that you are African-American women making a significant impact in the tech space, how has your reception been so far?
Jasmine Wall: Last year in November of 2016, I had the opportunity to attend the Blavity AfroTech Conference in San Francisco, CA. It was strongly attended by millennials in tech, influencers in Silicon Valley, and the who’s who amongst new startup companies that were achieving success and those looking to accelerate their growth. There were so many intellectuals and influencers in our space it felt ethereal. Then Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, gave a talk and shared his story. Ben just had this cool vibe about him as if we were sharing an exchange of words over dinner. He was just that close to us. The interviewer and moderator asked Ben why he decided to speak at AfroTech. He shared that he believes that more African-Americans should be in Tech. For the first time, I could visualize a possibility of a diverse Silicon Valley, and my company could be a major part of that reality.
Jeff Shuford: What challenges does your company face helping parents and children?
Jasmine Wall: We face the same challenges our parents and their children face. We want our parents and children to know we understand their challenges and to feel like we are an extension of their family. I defer to the traditionally used African proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child.” In today’s culture, this proverb is vital for our daily life. Here are just some of the challenges we tackle together with our Kidz family: Finding enough time in the day to balance family life and career, and being a single parent and not having enough help or support.
Jeff Shuford: Where do you see yourself and your business in 10 years?
Jasmine Wall: The future of our company is extremely bright. We are here to change the narrative of what Silicon Valley and rideshare companies look like. As an African American engineer, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to know and work with minority engineers across the US, so I know the talent pool. For example, it is interesting to me that of the Computer Science bachelor’s degrees going out each year, 20% go to Black’s and LatinX, but yet we only see 3% and 5% being hired at some of the leading tech companies. There is an absolute disconnect, and we hope to be apart of the change. In the same regard, women and other underrepresented categories are also a part of the narrative scope we hope to change.
This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post.