Breakfast Plenary The opening plenary sets the stage for the conference theme of empowering people and expanding opportunity. As Mayor Ginther leads the way in lifting Columbus up as America’s Equal Opportunity City, meet dynamic leaders throughout central Ohio who work alongside him and throughout central Ohio on this path.

Next Level – Disparity Study – Where do we go from here? Now that the City of Columbus disparity study is complete, what’s next for minority and women owned businesses in Columbus. From the practical realities of the disparity (what the data tells us) to connecting the dots for MWBE companies engaging in public and private corporations. We will discuss ways in how to make the pivot.

Dream, Rise, Lead On paper, things have never looked better for female entrepreneurs. In fact, more than 11 million U.S. firms are now owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales, according to 2017 data from the National Association of Women Business Owners. In this session, learn how to create a vision and roadmap for your future success, while uncovering the skills you need to accomplish it.

Grow with Google- Using Data to Drive Business Growth Learn best practices and analyze trends about how customers engage with your business online, then turn these insights into well-informed, actionable decisions.

In this session, facilitated by Google, we’ll introduce and talk about:
 - Identifying business goals and how you plan to use your online presence to achieve them  
 - Incorporating data by way of Google Analytics into your marketing plan
 - Selecting tools to help you find the answers you need

Money Matters – Get It and Grow It! Learn to better manage the financial side of their business, including how to: 

 - Find flexible financing alternatives
 - Build and maintain good business credit—a cornerstone of business success
 - Look at projects from a cash flow perspective, allowing a more strategic approach to their business as a whole

Opportunity Rising - Connecting With Columbus Real Estate Developers Within real estate, there are many opportunities to engage diverse suppliers and disciplines. Workshop panelists will share their commitments to supplier diversity, insights into engaging with their firms, and planned projects.

Small Business Ecosystem – Shaping America’s Equal Opportunity City The City of Columbus embarked on a comprehensive engagement process with various stakeholders to review and evaluate current small business programs offered by the City and others to identify gaps in services and programs. The findings from the Assessment, to be shared, will be used to develop a policy and budget framework and inform a small business agenda as an implementation plan under phase two of the process

Diversity Recruitment & Retention Recruitment and retention are two very different things, although they are often wrestled with as a joint challenge. Recruitment is about creating and managing a diversity of pipelines, and about staying visible and accessible to them once they’ve been established. Retention is about curating and sustaining a culture which provides an authentic sense of belonging and a strategic vision for growth - a place people want to stay. One without the other, though, is a recipe for a talent gap that growing companies cannot afford to ignore. Join us for a collaborative and informative conversation to explore some of the solutions around these challenges.

7 Habits of Highly Effective People This session will focus on Habit 4 Think Win/Win, Habit 5 Seeking to Be Understood and Habit 6 Synergize Principles of Creative Cooperation. These 3 habits are crucial to a small business owners interpersonal skills with connecting and communicating effectively with clients and people, in general. By establishing Win/Win solutions to their clients they will be more successful in sustaining their business. Establishing intentional connections and partnerships are essential for small business owners. Creative cooperation will help with that.

Negotiating – Never Split the Difference Never Split the Difference, written by Chris Voss, an FBI hostage negotiator is the basis for this workshop. While our negotiations are not life or death, they are very important to us and our success.
Negotiating is not haggling, nor is it settling for less. Negotiating is asking for, and receiving, what you need and want based on logic, information and a win-win plan.
Learn tools and techniques used by Chris Voss an FBI hostage negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference, presented by Mary McCarthy, successful entrepreneurial consultant and speaker.

Building Your Brand on Social Media Learn the importance of your brand, how to build it, how to cultivate it, causes for brand failure and how to respond to negative feedback