Living Entrepreneurship Blog / Babson Entrepreneurs

Diana Impact Day Changemaker Awardees

In 2019, The Diana International Research Institute established the Diana Changemaker Awards to recognize individuals of the global entrepreneurial ecosystem who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States and around the world. There are six award categories: Investor, Researcher, Entrepreneur, Educator, Policymaker and Ally. Recipients are selected annually by Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) and recognized at Diana International Impact Day. As a vital part of the ecosystem, Babson College and the Global Diana team are honored to recognize these individuals.

2019 Diana Impact Day Awardees:

  • Investor Category: Jenny Abramson, Founder & Managing Partner at Rethink Impact (Washington, DC)
  • Researcher Category: Susan Coleman, Professor of Finance at the University of Hartford (Hartford, CT)
  • Entrepreneur Category Carla Walker-Miller, President & CEO of Walker-Miller Energy Services LLC (Detroit, MI)
  • Educator Category: SherRhonda Gibbs, Alvin Williams Chair of Minority Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern Mississippi (Hattiesburg, MS)
  • Policymaker Category: Patricia Greene, Former Director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor (Austin, TX)
  • Ally Category: Magnus Aronsson, Managing Director at Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research Institute (Stockholm, Sweden)

Selection Criteria:

The selection criteria included different elements for each category as follows:

  • Investor – made significant contributions to (equity) funding access for women entrepreneurs, having a significant portion of portfolio including women-led businesses, number of deals led with women on entrepreneurial team, including women on the deal team
  • Researcher – made significant contribution to research on women entrepreneurs, including foundational studies that created or contributed to important new research streams, with significant impact on other researchers (e.g., citations), identification of gaps in the literature, and influence on policy-making and entrepreneurial practice.
  • Entrepreneur – raised more than $1M in private equity funding, CDFI, or other non-traditional sources, with significant business impact, including job creation, voice on government support and personal leadership and community involvement in entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Educator – made significant contribution to education programming for women entrepreneurs, including advances in pedagogy, new programming, new curriculum, and train-the-trainer models inside and outside of academic settings
  • Policymaker – made significant contribution to policy making in support of women’s entrepreneurship, including but not limited to bringing awareness to key government officials, mobilization of capital, and funding of entrepreneurial support organizations with targeted programming for women entrepreneurs.
  • Ally – male who made significant contribution to establishing research focus on women entrepreneurship in management studies, advocacy and support for visibility of WE, and showcases women entrepreneurs at conferences