Small Business Playbook
Online⎮December 14, 2023

Small Business Playbook

New Year, New Playbook: Strategies and Opportunities in 2024

Over the past year, persistent inflation has posed major challenges for small business owners across all industries. With economic uncertainty expected to continue into 2024, we’ll bring together top experts and fellow entrepreneurs to devise strategies to strengthen your business and successfully scale obstacles, while identifying hidden opportunities to help you succeed in the new year and beyond.

For CNBC Small Business Playbook editorial coverage, stories and video, visit


Elena Delle Donne

Elena Delle Donne is one of the most dynamic professional basketball players in the history of women’s basketball. On the court, she shines with her confidence and complete game. Off the court, Elena is a family woman, dedicated wife, philanthropist, and outdoor lover.

Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, Elena has always held a strong sense of herself and possessed a spirited love for her family. Growing up, she played a variety of sports but ultimately found a love for basketball. She chose to play at the University of Delaware to stay close to home. In her freshman season at Delaware, she was named the Colonial Athletic Associations’ Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

Her brilliance continued as Elena was drafted 2nd overall by the Chicago Sky in the 2013 WNBA Draft. After an explosive first season, she was crowned the 2013 Rookie of the Year. She continued her dominance and is a six-time WNBA All-Star (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2019), WNBA Scoring Campion (2015), a two-time Most Valuable Player (2015, 2019), and a WNBA Champion with the Washington Mystics (2019).

Off-court, Elena is one of the most marketable women’s athletes. Her key partnerships include Nike and Gatorade. After headlining the Nike’s inclusive and adaptive FlyEase series of shoes, she launched her own series of signature shoes, the Nike Air Deldon. She is also the founder of Deldon Designs, a woodworking business.

Elena’s attentiveness to her philanthropic efforts is what sets her apart. Her sister, Lizzie, was born blind and deaf, while also having cerebral palsy and autism. Additionally, during Elena’s time in college, she discovered she was suffering from Lyme disease and has made an effort throughout her career to find a cure. Her experiences led to Elena founding The Elena Delle Donne Charitable Foundation. The foundation aims to raise funds for and awareness of Lyme Disease research and special needs programs. Through her philanthropic dedication, Elena was named a Special Olympics Global Ambassador in 2014.

Barbara Corcoran

Barbara Corcoran’s credits include straight D’s in high school and college and 20 jobs by the time she turned 23. It was her next job that would make her one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country: She borrowed $1,000 and quit her job as a waitress to start a tiny real estate company in New York City. Over the next 25 years Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business, building the largest and best-known brand in the business.

Corcoran is the author of the best seller “Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business!” and host of top podcasts “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran”.

Corcoran is a motivational and inspirational speaker. She is a frequent small business and real estate contributor on every major network. Corcoran has been an investor/Shark for the past twelve seasons on ABC’s four-time Emmy award winning show, Shark Tank, investing in over 80 businesses to date. Follow Barbara on Twitter and Instagram @BarbaraCorcoran.

Marcus Collins

Dr. Marcus Collins is an award-winning marketer and cultural translator with one foot in the world of practice—formerly serving as the Head of Strategy at Wieden+Kennedy, New York—and one foot in the world of academia—as a marketing professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

His deep understanding of brand strategy and consumer behavior has helped him bridge the academic-practitioner gap for blue-chip brands and startups alike. He is a recipient of Advertising Age's 40 Under 40 award and Crain's Business' 40 Under 40 award, and an inductee into the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement. Most recently, he was recognized by Thinkers50 with the Radar Distinguished Achievement Award for the idea most likely to shape the future of business management. He has also served as a jury for the Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity.

Before joining Wieden+Kennedy, he served as the Chief Consumer Connections Officer at Doner Advertising and led Social Engagement at Steve Stoute’s advertising agency, Translation. Over the course of his career, Marcus has developed a practice for creating culturally contagious ideas that inspire people to take action. His strategies and creative contributions have led to the launch and success of Google’s “Real Tone” technology, the “Made In America” music festival, the Brooklyn Nets, and State Farm’s “Cliff Paul” campaign – among others.

Prior to his advertising tenure, Marcus began his career in music and tech with a startup he co-founded before working on iTunes + Nike sport music initiatives at Apple and running digital strategy for Beyoncé.

Marcus’ work centers squarely on the impact of culture and the power that comes from having great cultural proximity. His best-selling book, For The Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be, examines the influence of culture on consumption and unpacks how everyone from marketers to activists can leverage culture to get people to take action. Throughout the book, he relies on literature, case studies, his work with brands, and academic data to illustrate the “whys” and the “hows” so that readers will be empowered to successfully apply these learnings in their own pursuits.

Marcus holds a doctorate in marketing from Temple University where he studied cultural contagion and meaning-making. He received an MBA with an emphasis on strategic brand marketing from the University of Michigan, where he also earned his undergraduate degree in Material Science Engineering. He is a Forbes columnist and a trusted voice among CMOs and business leaders. But most importantly, he is a proud Detroit native, a devoted husband, and a loving father to Georgia and Ivy.

Kory Kantenga

Dr. Kory Kantenga is a Senior Economist for LinkedIn and a member of its Economic Graph Research and Insights Team. His work focuses on surfacing insights on labor markets and the macroeconomy at large. Kantenga’s areas of expertise include employment and wages, skills and technology, job search and matching, and competition and innovation. His insights and commentary have been featured in Bloomberg, The Financial Times, Fortune, and The Washington Post. Prior to joining LinkedIn, Kory worked in economic consulting, focusing on antitrust and intellectual property matters, and served as a postdoctoral fellow at the European University Institute. He holds a Masters of Sciences in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a Doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Justin Su'a

Justin Su’a is an organizational performance specialist working with elite athletes and executives from organizations across professional sports and corporate America, including MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox, NFL’s Cleveland Browns, Google, US Army, IMG Academy, US Olympics, PGA/LPGA, ATP, WWE, and CrossFit. He specializes in human and organizational performance, team effectiveness, leadership, performance enhancement, and player/coach development. Justin is the author of two books, “Parent Pep Talks” and “Mentally Tough Teens,” and is the host of a daily podcast, “Increase Your Impact.” He is currently pursuing a PhD in organizational behavior, and holds a Master of Science degree from University of Utah, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Brigham Young University..

Robyn Sue Fisher

An ice cream fanatic with a knack for invention, Robyn Sue founded Smitten Ice Cream in 2009 to spread joy and create the freshest, most flavorful ice cream on earth. After ditching her corporate consulting career, she began immersing herself in all things ice cream and was increasingly bothered by the modern industry's complicated ingredients and focus on shelf-life. So, she invented her own patented machine to perfect the art of churning pure, fresh scoops to-order in 90 seconds using liquid nitrogen and only the very best ingredients. She first put Smitten on the map when she placed her custom-built “Brrr®” machine atop a Radio Flyer wagon and started selling her churned-to-order ice cream on the streets of San Francisco to the crowds that gathered, soon building a cult-like following.

From those humble beginnings came Smitten’s first shop in San Francisco in 2011. The company now has two bustling retail locations in the Bay Area, one in San Francisco’s Mission neighborhood and one in San Jose’s Santana Row, in addition to a licensed location with TableOne Hospitality in Las Vegas. Touted by Vogue as “The freshest, if not the best, ice cream on Earth,” and featured in a vast array of media, from Food & Wine and Forbes to Wired and TechCrunch, Smitten is setting the bar for mastery of the perfect scoop. Robyn is an alumni and scholar athlete of Williams College, received her MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business, is an inventor on 8 patents, and lives with her husband and two young sons in San Francisco.

Holly Wade

Holly Wade is the executive director of the NFIB Research Center, where she conducts original research and studies public policy effects on small businesses. She produces NFIB’s monthly Small Business Economic Trends survey and surveys on topics related to small business operations. Holly is also a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). She has undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Washington and a Masters of Public Policy from the University of Denver.

Deirdre Bosa

Deirdre Bosa is anchor of CNBC’s tech-focused franchise, “TechCheck,” based out of the network’s San Francisco Bureau. Previously, she was anchor of the network’s daily program, “TechCheck,” that ran from April 2021 to February 2023. Before that, Bosa served as a technology reporter, owning stories on the biggest names in tech from Amazon to Alphabet, key players in China’s tech scene like Alibaba and Huawei, and Silicon Valley’s largest disruptors from Airbnb to Uber to WeWork. Prior to that, she was a frequent presence on air and online as a CNBC contributor, reporting out of Vancouver, Canada.

Bosa joined CNBC in 2012 covering the markets and economies of London and Singapore. She has co-anchored morning programs including “Squawk Box Asia,” “Squawk Box Europe,” and “Worldwide Exchange.”

Prior to CNBC, Bosa was an anchor and reporter for CCTV News International based in Beijing, as well as a contributor to Fox Business News. Deirdre also worked for several multinational corporations including Barrick Gold in Toronto and Rio Tinto in Shanghai.

She is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, Canada and University of Hong Kong’s Masters of Journalism program.

Sara Eisen

Sara Eisen is co-anchor of the 10AM hour of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” (M-F, 9AM-11AM ET) and co-anchor of “Money Movers” (M-F, 11AM-12PM ET), which both broadcast from Post 9 at the New York Stock Exchange. She is known for her deep expertise in financial markets and the global economy as well as regular news making interviews with some of the most prominent names in the financial world, including Phil Knight, Janet Yellen and Christine Lagarde, among others.

Previously, Eisen anchored CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” “Squawk on the Street,” “Power Lunch” and “Worldwide Exchange.” She also reported on the one-hour documentary, “Inside Track: The Business of Formula 1,” that explores the world’s most prestigious racing series, what is fueling its popularity and who is profiting. Eisen joined CNBC in December 2013 as a correspondent, focusing on the global consumer.

Prior to CNBC, Eisen was co-anchor of “Bloomberg Surveillance” as well as a correspondent for Bloomberg Television, where she covered global macroeconomics, policy and business. During that time, she covered the European debt crisis, the tsunami aftermath and Fukushima nuclear crisis in Japan. Eisen also hosted the Bloomberg Radio program, “On the Economy.”

She is the editor of “Currencies After the Crash: The Uncertain Future of the Global Paper-Based Currency System” published by McGraw-Hill in Jan. 2013.

Eisen holds a master’s degree in broadcast journalism with a concentration in business reporting from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

Tyler Mathisen

Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch" (M-F, 1PM-3PM ET), one of the network's longest running program franchises. He is also Vice President, Events Strategy for CNBC, working closely with the network's events team to grow the rapidly expanding business.

Previously, Mathisen was co-anchor of "Nightly Business Report," an award-winning evening business news program produced by CNBC for U.S. public television. In 2014, NBR was named best radio/TV show by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). Since joining CNBC in 1997, Mathisen has held a number of positions including managing editor of CNBC Business News, responsible for directing the network's daily content and coverage. He was also co-anchor of CNBC's "Closing Bell."

Mathisen has reported one-hour documentaries for the network including "Best Buy: The Big Box Fights Back," "Supermarkets Inc: Inside a $500 Billion Money Machine" and "Death: It's a Living." Mathisen was also host of the CNBC series "How I Made My Millions."

Prior to CNBC, Mathisen spent 15 years as a writer, senior editor and top editor for Money magazine. Among other duties, he supervised the magazine's mutual funds coverage, its annual investment forecast issue and its expansion into electronic journalism, for which it won the first-ever National Magazine Award for New Media in 1997.

In 1993, Mathisen won the American University-Investment Company Institute Award for Personal Finance Journalism for a televised series on "Caring for Aging Parents," which aired on ABC's "Good Morning America." Mathisen served as money editor of "GMA" from 1991 to 1997. He also won an Emmy Award for a report on the 1987 stock market crash that aired on New York's WCBS-TV.

A native of Arlington,Va., Mathisen graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia.

Kristina Partsinevelos

Kristina Partsinevelos joined CNBC in May 2021 and serves as the Nasdaq reporter for the network, based at the Nasdaq and CNBC Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. She covers the Nasdaq, semiconductors, ESG and precious metals, and her reporting appears on television and CNBC’s digital platforms.

Prior to CNBC, Partsinevelos was a business correspondent and economist for three years at the Fox Business Network, covering everything from technology, to the White House, to the Federal Reserve and reporting in the field around New York City during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. She also reported from South Carolina in the eye of Hurricane Florence, a category 4 storm, in September 2018.

Prior to that, Partsinevelos worked for Global News in London, BNN Bloomberg (Canada’s Business News Network), CTV News Channel and CBC Edmonton covering the latest financial news, including the retail, tech, and automotive sectors.

She is fluent in French and received her MBA from the University of Oxford’s Saȉd Business School. She also has a master’s in journalism from Carleton University.

Follow Kristina Partsinevelos on Twitter @KristinaParts.

Emily Wilkins

Emily Wilkins is a CNBC correspondent for the network’s Washington, D.C. bureau, covering Congress, key regulatory issues and policies that impact American businesses and the economy.

Prior to CNBC, Wilkins, an award-winning journalist, served as a reporter for Bloomberg Government, where she covered breaking news coming out of Washington and Congress with a focus on House leadership. She previously reported on education and labor for both Bloomberg Government and CQ Roll Call.

Wilkins graduated from Michigan State with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. She currently serves as the Vice President of the National Press Club and she lives in D.C. with her fiancé.

Michael Levy

Michael is the Executive Chairman and Lead Investor in Undercover Chocolate Company, Inc., a rapidly growing manufacturer of better-for-you snacks, where he focuses primarily on operations, finance and technology. Prior to his involvement in Undercover, Michael built his career as an investment banker and investor for over 30 years as CEO of Octagon Capital Group, which he still runs today, and previously as Founder/Co-Head of Paragon Capital Partners, after establishing his career as a senior banker in the M&A departments of Lehman Brothers and Banc of America Securities.

Sam Levy

Sam is responsible for leading NetSuite’s growth strategy and execution, from customer acquisition to retention and overall profitability. He brings a successful track record spanning more than 25 years in the enterprise software industry with rapidly growing companies. His career involves leading Sales and Platform Strategy in SaaS and traditional legacy ERP Markets. Prior to NetSuite, he successfully drove new business initiatives, account management, channel, and generating sales and consulting revenue at Epicor and Infor, along with several startups. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Marketing from San Diego State University.

Shibani Joshi

Shibani Joshi is an experienced journalist who has covered business, technology and general news for global media outlets including ABC News, Fox News Channel, Yahoo! Finance and Huffington Post. She provides commentary on business, technology and lifestyle topics and hosts events for leading corporations.

Previously, Shibani anchored a daily markets show and had her own dedicated segment on TV called “Joshi on Tech” on the Fox Business Network in New York City. In her almost 6-year tenure, she evolved into the dedicated on-air tech reporter at both Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network.

Shibani also reported extensively live on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and NYMex exchanges, covering the 2008 market crash, historic interest rate cuts, record oil prices and the biggest point drop in Dow history (at the time).

Throughout her career, Shibani has interviewed large-cap tech CEOs and executives from companies including Apple, Qualcomm, Google, Sony and Ebay. She has also interviewed execs from Uber, Dropbox, Rent the Runway and Angie’s List in their early stages.

Her unique business perspective stems from real-world corporate experience and a distinguished business education. After double majoring in finance and accounting, she worked as an investment banking analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City, where she focused on corporate finance and M&A projects.

Joshi later moved on to Disney/ABC Media Networks, where she was the firm’s Senior Manager of Digital Strategy. In 2014, she created, a blog focused on stories at the intersection of lifestyle and technology.
Shibani teaches at the University of Oklahoma, sits on the Board of Advisors for the Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma, and served as a Trustee to The Children’s School in La Jolla, California.

Shibani is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma and holds an MBA from The Harvard Business School. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her 3 children.


1:00pm ET



Main Street Outlook: 2024

After a turbulent 2023, dominated by persistent inflation, high interest rates, and worker shortages, what will the new year bring? We’ll examine the economic outlook for 2024 and what that will mean for your business. 

Kory Kantenga, LinkedIn Senior Economist
Holly Wade, National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Executive Director
Moderator: Emily Wilkins, CNBC DC Correspondent 

Watch the full interview


Combatting Hate with Love

An ice cream shop owner in San Francisco became the latest victim of a suspected antisemitic hate crime recently, leaving her business severely vandalized and her heart shattered. She’ll share her story of how she has transformed her feelings of sadness and fear into strength and her new playbook on how she’s moving forward with love.

Robyn Sue Fisher, Smitten Ice Cream Founder & CEO
Interviewer: Sara Eisen, CNBC Co-Anchor, “Squawk on the Street” & “Money Movers”

Watch the full interview


Communication Playbook: Speak Up or Stay Silent

Businesses have become increasingly vocal when it comes to speaking out on hot button political and social issues. But with that comes the risk of scrutiny and backlash from stakeholders. We’ll examine risk vs reward, and how to develop a framework to determine when to speak out, and how.  

Marcus Collins, Author, University of Michigan Asst. Professor of Marketing
Interviewer: Sara Eisen, CNBC Co-Anchor, “Squawk on the Street” & “Money Movers”

Watch the full interview


Performance Playbook: How to Create a Higher-Performing Team

Employees are the lifeblood of every organization, yet recruiting and retaining top talent continues to be a major challenge for small businesses. A performance specialist will draw on his work with championship caliber pro sports teams to offer key strategies to increase trust, collaboration, commitment, and productivity to create a higher-performing workplace and culture in 2024. 

Justin Su’a, Organizational Performance Specialist
Interviewer: Tyler Mathisen, CNBC “Power Lunch” Co-Anchor & Vice President, Events Strategy

Watch the full interview


Entrepreneur Playbook: Shooting for Success Off the Court

To become a WNBA all-star and Olympic gold medalist, it takes grit, preparation, goal setting, and the ability to embrace competition while overcoming adversity. Now, this 2-time MVP will share her playbook on applying those same skills to entrepreneurship, and how she’s turned two off-the-court passion projects into full-fledged businesses.  

Elena Delle Donne, WNBA’s Washington Mystics & Entrepreneur
Interviewer: Deirdre Bosa, CNBC TechCheck” Anchor 

Watch the full interview


The Growth Playbook: Doing More With Less

Sponsored and Programmed by Oracle NetSuite

Businesses have traditionally been asked to do more with less, but today’s environment is taking it to a whole new level. Small businesses especially are feeling the squeeze. In this discussion, we’ll talk about ways small businesses are leveraging technology, allowing them to gain a competitive advantage and bolster profitability.  

Michael Levy, Undercover Snacks Co-Owner & Chairman
Sam Levy, Oracle NetSuite SVP Growth and Operations
Moderator: Shibani Joshi, CNBC Events Contributor 

Watch the full session


Attack the New Year Like a Shark

For fifteen seasons, she’s helped entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level on “Shark Tank”. Now, this shark, who built her own small business into a billion-dollar corporation, joins us to talk tips on how you can set your business up to succeed in the new year, and answer your questions. 

Barbara Corcoran, The Corcoran Group Founder and “Shark Tank” Shark
Interviewer: Kristina Partsinevelos, CNBC NASDAQ Reporter

Watch the full interview


Event Concludes




Event Highlights