Pinky Cole Provides Opps For Grads

Pinky Cole Hayes, founder of Slutty Vegan / Photo by Riku Reels

Pinky Cole Hayes, the CEO of Slutty Vegan, isn’t new to making headlines whether it’s for the expansion of her beloved restaurant or receiving recognition for her impact in the AUC community. However, her latest venture for giving back to the community has completely touched the hearts of students and educators at Savannah State University. She has officially gifted Savannah State University’s class of 2024 an $8.75 million “entrepreneurial starter pack”.

Although the 2024 graduates were completely shocked by the news, this recent collaboration between Cole, Operation HOPE, and One Million Black Businesses are creating opportunities for underrepresented communities to achieve in their entrepreneurial endeavors. Also, it gives graduates a sense of a support system that people are rooting for them and the direction for their career plans in the future. During the commencement speech, Cole expressed the importance of making a difference in the lives of others. According to, she stated, “I am passionate about lifting up the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs of our world. I know firsthand what it means to have mentorship and how someone believing in your dream can make a difference. This graduating class has experienced so much adversity. Their college years began with a global pandemic and they have had to navigate their lives through unprecedented events. Through it all, they have thrived and are ready to enter the ‘real world’ with more experience and the confidence to face life’s new challenges. I believe in these graduates, and I hope that this gift will help them as they transition into this next phase of their lives.”

Furthermore, these graduates will have access to free-in-kind services of resources that includes mentoring from IMBB, one-on-one financial counseling, an eight-week training course for business plan development, and three months free with Shopify to build e-commerce. Despite Cole’s personal entrepreneurial journey that encountered struggles and obstacles for the success of her business, she strives to provide any opportunity for evolution for students interested in the field. According to ESSENCE, in her latest book, I Hope You Fail, “Cole Hayes shares that she has spent her life dreaming of financial security. After a fire destroyed the New York City restaurant, she put everything into the building, and she was back to square one, working hard for someone else’s dream. Not long after, she decided to strike out on her own and the rest is history. Her latest chapter is supporting aspiring business leaders and changemakers in making their dreams a reality.”

Cole Hayes is definitely going above and beyond to do her part at making the world a better place for Black people. Keep up with her latest endeavors by following her on social media.


By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California

Instagram: @korixnicole


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Written by Kori Barnes

Hi! I can eat an entire jar of pickles in one setting and I LOVE to binge watch shows on Netflix. One of the most important quotes to me:
“and in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

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