Summit is designed to aid Native business leaders

The Billings Chamber of Commerce presents the Native American Business Summit sponsored by Wells Fargo for all Indigenous entrepreneurs, makers and creators on Thursday, April 4 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm at Montana State University Billings in the Glacier Room.

The summit is designed to empower and elevate Indigenous businesses and individuals in the region, facilitating a convergence of heritage, innovation, and economic empowerment for small business development and Indigenous business growth. Participants will receive a full startup roadmap presented by Big Sky Economic Development and will learn about the fundamental elements of owning a successful business, financing options, business planning, and resources to kickstart their venture.

Bethany Yellowtail

Fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, a native of Wyola on the Crow Reservation and an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, lives in Los Angeles where she has her own fashion label, B.YELLOWTAIL.

Photo courtesy Woodnote Photography

“I’m looking forward to connecting with more Native American businesses and entrepreneurs. “Native-owned businesses are unique in that we inherently rely on our ingenuity and can create innovative solutions with limited resources,” said Bethany Yellowtail, owner of B Yellowtail. “Imagine what is possible when we can come together and exchange resources and knowledge. I truly believe there is great potential for Native businesses to thrive, especially when we support each other.”

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Attendees will also connect with other entrepreneurs, mentors, investors and essential services that offer a resilient network of support. Resource panelists include the Billings Chamber of Commerce, Visit Southeast Montana, Plenty Doors Community Development Corporation, Montana Department of Commerce, Downtown Billings Alliance, and Western Native Voice.

Additionally, participants will hear local business success stories that will offer support, inspiration and mentorship opportunities. Panelists include B. Yellowtail, 406 Native Roots, The Beauty Lodge, Transitional Marketing, and Cora Kay Productions.

“I am an Indigenous woman-owned business in Billings, and I look forward to connecting resources and networking with other businesses” said Cora Chandler of Cora Kay Productions. “This event is innovative and valuable in connecting our Indigenous and non-Indigenous community businesses so we can work together for business growth.”

Registration is available online at The event is open to everyone at any stage of their business journey. Lunch will be provided for all attendees. For more information, contact Billings Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Manager Cathy Grider.

With a focus on business growth through diversity, equity, and inclusion the Chamber’s online business resource center, has resources and information to begin one’s DEI journey of building welcome and belonging in the workplace.