Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Women's Leadership

Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) Awarded Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education

Each year, universities committed to innovative entrepreneurship education come together at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers (GCEC) Conference to celebrate innovative advancements in the way entrepreneurship is taught. Now in its twenty-second year, the GCEC Conference was attended by more than 540 individuals from 250 top universities from around the globe, the most in the history of the organization.

This year, Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) received the top award for Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education after a rigorous nomination and evaluation process undergoing review by a panel of 35 academic peers. More than 100 university programs were nominated this year from the 250 GCEC member schools. Susan Duffy, Executive Director of CWEL, was in attendance and accepted the award on behalf of The Center.

“We are thrilled that Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership received the award for Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education, particularly with such a high-caliber group of Centers participating. We strive to create leading edge programs for all of our diverse stakeholders, such as our award-winning Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab®, which is a unique kind of venture accelerator that broadens the possibilities for women entrepreneurs capable of making a dynamic economic impact. We will continue to iterate and provide exciting opportunities for each of the women entrepreneurial leaders we work with across the globe.”

As the first center ever focused on women entrepreneurial leaders at a business school, the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) is one of the most visible and important ways that Babson supports women entrepreneurs on the Wellesley, Boston, and Miami campuses. CWEL’s award-winning programs, exclusive events, access to cutting-edge experts, and hands-on coaching impacts a diverse set of stakeholders from around the world. Those programs include: the CWEL Scholars program for high-performing female undergraduate students; the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® accelerator for women entrepreneurs building scalable businesses; Mentor programs designed to educate both undergraduate and graduate students on the value of developmental relationships; Executive Education built for established women leaders striving to make a strategic economic impact; and a lively, supportive, and growing community of faculty who do groundbreaking research on the economic value women entrepreneurial leaders bring to the world.

This is not the first award received by CWEL. Previously, The Center’s WIN Lab® has been designated as one of the top two specialty programs for Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship®; earned BostInno’s designation as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries; and was honored by the prestigious Rosoff Awards for diversity.

The full list of winners and finalists, across seven different categories, can be found below.

Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education

Babson College Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership
Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families
Miami University Institute for Entrepreneurship
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Tata Center for Design and Technology
University of Colorado – Boulder Deming Center for Entrepreneurship

Outstanding Contributions to Venture Creation
Winners: (two winners)
University in Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship
Michigan State University MSU Entrepreneurship
Babson College Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship
The University of Notre Dame The IDEA Center
Northern Kentucky University Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Excellence in Entrepreneurship Teaching and Pedagogical Innovation

Baylor University John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise
University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science
North Carolina State University NC State Entrepreneurship
Wake Forest University Center for Entrepreneurship
University of Wales Trinity Saint David International Institute for Creative Entrepreneurial Development

Outstanding Student Engagement & Leadership 
Winners: (two winners)
The University of Notre Dame The IDEA Center
Georgetown University Georgetown Entrepreneurship Initiative
University of North Carolina Wilmington Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
University of Nebraska at Kearney Center for Entrepreneurship and Rural Development
Cornell University Entrepreneurship at Cornell

Outstanding Emerging Entrepreneurship Center 
Winners: (three winners)
Sydney School of Entrepreneurship Sydney School of Entrepreneurship
Virginia Tech Apex Center for Entrepreneurs
Vanderbilt University the Wond’ry
West Virginia University LaunchLab
Smith College Jill Ker Conway Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center
Federal University of Itajuba Entrepreneurship Center of the Federal University of Itajuba

Exceptional Activities in Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines
Winners: (two winners)
University of Massachusetts Lowell DifferenceMaker Program
University of Utah Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
London South Bank University Clarence Centre for Enterprise and Innovation
California State University, Chico Center for Entrepreneurship
Purdue University Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship

NASDAQ Center of Entrepreneurial Excellence
San Diego State University Lavin Entrepreneurship Center

The GCEC is the premier academic organization addressing the emerging topics of importance to the nation’s university-based centers for entrepreneurship. It has become the vehicle by which the top, established entrepreneurship centers, as well as emerging centers, can work together to share best practices, develop programs and initiatives, and collaborate and assist each other in advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the role of universities in teaching the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

This year’s GCEC Conference was hosted by DePaul University and the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), and supported by other Chicago universities, including Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel provided the opening address to the conference, along with the Presidents of DePaul, Dr. Gabriel Esteban and IIT, Dr. Alan W. Cramb.