Pioneering Women-Led Entrepreneurship

Babson was the first business school to establish a center focused on women entrepreneurial leaders, and the first accelerator for women entrepreneurs.

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Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) finds that economies thrive when the impact of female leaders is increased across all sectors. By enlightening the global community about the value of women’s entrepreneurial leadership, CWEL can help nations advance equity, prosperity, and progress for all.

CWEL empowers women leaders through educational programs, events, and research, while also promoting gender equity as a growth strategy that allows all individuals and organizations to embrace their strengths and reach their full potential.

Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®

In 2013, CWEL launched WIN Lab® to address the lack of gender parity it was seeing in major accelerator programs and pitch competitions on campus.

Now in its sixth year in Boston, and third in Miami, WIN Lab has seen an impressive increase in women’s participation across each of those startup opportunities.

  • 180+ women founders have participated in WIN Lab® since launch, raising more than $10 million in funding.
  • The number of Babson Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (B.E.T.A.) Challenge finalists who are female has increased 200 percent since 2013. Women represented 67 percent of all finalists in 2014–2018 after having zero finalists in 2013.
  • Rocket Pitch witnessed an 18 percent increase in women founders since the launch of WIN Lab.
  • The average number of women in Babson’s Summer Venture Program (SVP) doubled after WIN Lab launched. SVP cohorts are now composed, on average, of majority women entrepreneurs (53 percent).

“Specifically geared to empower women entrepreneurs, the WIN Lab pushed me forward to grow out of my comfort zone and transformed me into a strong female business leader.”

– Joia Spinelli MBA’19, Founder of Global Joy


Babson and CWEL also boast a lively, supportive, and growing community of faculty members who do groundbreaking research on the economic value that women entrepreneurial leaders bring to the world.

Funded by Babson, the Diana Project™ is the premier global research initiative focusing on women entrepreneurs and their growth. In 2014, it released “Women Entrepreneurs 2014: Bridging the Gender Gap in Venture Capital”—a survey of all investments in U.S. businesses between 2011 and 2013, which uncovered that only 2.7 percent of all U.S. companies receiving venture capital had a woman CEO.

Diana Project research has resulted in nearly 2,000 media mentions, reaching an estimated 3.4 billion people worldwide.


Bryanne Leeming

The Technology Pitch

Complicated technology, a landscape stacked against you, and lots of unknown territory. These female entrepreneurs are giving advice on how to pitch your tech company to wow investors.

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GEM Women

Women Weigh Risks and Rewards

The latest Babson-sponsored U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report finds that 59 percent of women entrepreneurs perceive opportunity, the highest rate ever recorded, but their entrepreneurial intentions are not trending upward—yet.

Read about the research