Yelp’s first-ever virtual Black in Business Summit: August 25, 2021

Thank you to everyone who attended the summit! Session recordings are posted below and on Yelp’s YouTube channel.

To celebrate National Black Business Month, Yelp’s first-ever Black in Business Summit will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 25. Our speakers and panelists will be Black business owners as well as allies. You’ll hear from dynamic speakers and inspiring business builders for a day of panel discussions, fireside chats, and workshops. 

Kicking off at 11 a.m. ET, this free, virtual event will provide a forum for business leaders in all industries to share insights and learn from each other. Looking ahead to a post-pandemic world, the summit promises inspiration while also providing tactical lessons and takeaways that can be applied to any industry or business.

Who should join? This event is open for anyone to attend. This summit is for business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a seasoned expert, within your first few years, or just starting out, there’s something for you at the summit.

Here’s a look at the full schedule and lineup.

11 AM – 11:05 AM ET 
Yelp’s Black in Business Summit: Welcome

11:05 AM – 11:35 AM ET
In conversation with Pinky Cole
From her early beginnings as a Harlem restauranteur to growing a multi-location business, Pinky Cole is building an empire as the owner and visionary of Slutty Vegan, an Atlanta-based restaurant with celebrity fans like Lala Anthony, Ludacris, and Gabrielle Union. Learn how Pinky Cole found her passion and is empowering others to pursue their dreams.

Speaker: Pinky Cole, CEO and founder of Slutty Vegan
Moderator: Tara Lewis, Vice President Community Expansion and Yelp Trends at Yelp

11:35 AM – 11:45 AM ET
Connect with Yelp locally
Yelp has Community Managers in most major cities, and they work to connect people with great local businesses. Learn about their role and how you can connect with them locally to spread the word about your business.

11:45 AM – 12:20 PM ET
Creating equitable access to capital
A conversation with executives from Truist Foundation, CornerSquare Capital, and Combs Enterprises on how race can impact financial literacy and access to funding. They’ll share what every business owner should know about their financial health and gaining access to capital.


Moderator: Zanade Mann, founder and Managing Director of Black Women’s Business Collective

12:30 PM – 12:40 PM ET
Pitch please: creating a pitch that pays and slays
In this session, you’ll learn the speaking industry’s best-kept secrets and fool-proof techniques. Unpack the killer toolbox that turns cold prospects into hot leads and sales. Discover how to showcase your expertise, speak up for yourself, and stand out from your competitors—becoming the #1 choice for your ideal customers.

Speaker: Precious L. Williams, CEO of Perfect Pitches By Precious, LLC

12:40 PM – 1:10 PM ET
Top 3 things to know when crafting an effective business plan
While pitch decks have become more and more popular, the classic business plan still serves an important function for entrepreneurs–and intrapreneurs—who are building, growing, or scaling a business. Cate Luzio, founder and CEO of Luminary and host of the nationally recognized Business Plan Boot Camp, will break down the top three essentials when crafting a powerful plan in order to achieve short and long term goals, reduce risk, and build a path to success for your business.

Speaker: Cate Luzio, CEO & founder of Luminary

1:15 PM – 1:50 PM ET
In conversation with Nicole Gibbons
Clare CEO Nicole Gibbons is one of the few Black women to receive more than $1M in funding. Oftentimes, Black entrepreneurs must bootstrap their businesses or rely on investments from friends and family. Hear how her experiences as women of color have impacted how she builds her business and what small business owners can learn from her mistakes.

Speaker: Nicole Gibbons, CEO of Clare
Moderator: Ita Ekpoudom, partner at GingerBread Capital

2 PM – 2:55 PM ET
Standing out as a Black woman
Data shows that Black women are promoted more slowly than other groups of employees and are significantly underrepresented in senior leadership. Only 1% of C-suite leaders are Black women. There are also lower levels of funding for Black women business owners. Hear from these Black business builders on their experiences, challenges, and how they’ve created a seat at the table.


Moderator: Cate Luzio, CEO and founder of Luminary

3 PM – 3:30 PM ET
In conversation with the cast of HBO Max’s Sweet Life: Los Angeles
The cast of Sweet Life: Los Angeles joins EveryStylishGirl CEO Nana Agyemang to discuss how they’ve built their careers as tastemakers and entrepreneurs in South Los Angeles. The series premiere airs August 19, exclusively on HBO Max. 

Speakers: Cast of Sweet Life: Los Angeles

  • Amanda Scott
  • Briana Jones
  • Cheryl Des Vignes
  • Jerrold Smith II
  • Jordan Bentley
  • P’Jae Compton
  • Tylynn Burns

Moderator: Nana Agyemang, CEO of EveryStylishGirl

3:30 PM – 3:55 PM ET
Yelp 101
Your free business listing on Yelp allows you to communicate with consumers who are searching for what you provide in your area. Taking advantage of the free Yelp features will help you stand out from the competition, giving you the best chance to secure the sale. Learn how to implement the most important tools—which will help you optimize your listing and manage your online reputation.

Speaker: Emily Washcovick, Yelp Small Business Expert

4 PM – 4:50PM ET
Think big, act local
Franchisee owners and decision makers sit down to discuss how they’ve remained authentic to their local communities while balancing the demands of a national brand. These business owners are joined by a Yelp Elite on what she looks for when searching for a local business.


Moderator: Helina Medhin, Community Marketing at Yelp


The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.