The development of Black businesses in Detroit continues to rise, and female entrepreneurship plays a huge part. With the help of organizations such as Young, Ambitious and Beautiful (Y.A.B.), female-owned businesses are able to flourish and meet the needs of their customers, especially those owned by women of color. Launched in 2012, Y.A.B. is an organization founded by business professionals Lauren Bealore, Courtney Griffin and Brittany Colston. They aim to help young women in Detroit connect the dots while seeking business opportunities and successful branding.
Y.A.B. hosted their first Power in the Pitch networking event, Friday, Nov. 11, at Tech Town in midtown Detroit to encourage all women to excel in their goal of becoming entrepreneurs. Power in the Pitch required all aspiring entrepreneurs to submit their business pitches into a bowl during registration and exchange business cards with the panelists. Ten pitches were chosen to discuss during the event in front of the audience, as the panelists gave feedback to the presenters.
The panel consisted of local business professionals who gave the entrepreneurs advice on how to improve their business pitches. They included Regina Campbell, managing director of Place-Based Entrepreneurship of TechTown; Carolyn Cassin, president and CEO of the Michigan Women’s Foundation; Dr. Nicole Farmer, president and founder of LifeLine Business Consulting Services, Michael Forsyth, director of small business services for Motor City Match; Sheri Crawley, president and founder of Pretty Brown Girl, a movement that empowers and inspires girls and women to celebrate their shades of brown; and Amany Killawi, co-founder and COO of LaunchGood.
“Young women need to know that the sky’s the limit. There’s nothing they can’t accomplish and [there’s] nothing they can’t do. I think once they realize that, they can succeed beyond their wildest dreams,” Cassin shared.
Crawley also shared her perspective. “I think the social issues that women of color face is because we don’t necessarily have the resources and support. We often compare ourselves to European concepts of beauty and so we really have to put in that extra work to motivate women and girls and let them know that they are strong and can achieve anything,” she said.
The attendees’ participation in Power in the Pitch helped contribute to Y.A.B’s Dream Executioner Scholarship. This scholarship serves to promote empowerment and encouragement to female entrepreneurs of color. For more information, visit www.iamyab.org.
Photo gallery: Kristina Mitchell for Steed Media (unless otherwise noted)