Women are often hindered by gender biases in the entrepreneurship space, but we know that women are born leaders and natural innovators. That’s why we launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative.
Launched in 2018, this platform celebrates female-led ventures, old and new; empowers generations of female entrepreneurs by providing them with mentorships, scholarships, and valuable resources like a quarterly newsletter; and facilitates connections for entrepreneurial-minded women within Northeastern’s robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Something for Everyone
Amid the pandemic, we partnered with the Office of Alumni Relations to bring you Northeastern’s Masterclasses in Innovation, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship series (MILEs), a compilation of interesting discussions around business, expertise, and perspectives of university alumnae and others in our community.
Open to all, these educational and engaging modules touch on topics ranging from the benefits of self-compassion and exploring resilience during trying times to pitching investment ideas in the venture capital field and managing side hustles, allowing viewers to learn something new, gain deeper understanding of meaningful information, and apply this knowledge in their personal and professional lives. Click here to learn more.
Our mission is bold.
Let’s use this platform to redefine what it looks like to be a female founder, one step at a time.
The Ripple Effect
Together, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative strives to create a lasting ripple effect by channeling our strengths and coming together as catalysts for change.
Women are often hindered by gender biases in the entrepreneurship space, but we know that women are born leaders and natural innovators. That’s why the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative supports and encourages Northeastern’s student-led club, the Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship (WISE). The women of WISE work to inspire and encourage others to explore entrepreneurial curiosities, take innovative approaches, and realize their ambitions.
Using the real-world work experience gained through the university’s signature co-op model, our female entrepreneurs forge their own paths, launch their own firms, and strive to be the best, and most successful, versions of themselves. Regardless of where our alumni are in their career trajectory, they will always have access to Northeastern’s robust innovation ecosystem and countless resources to help our accomplished, ambitious, and change-making female leaders take on their next endeavor.
Our diverse network of partners, spanning multiple industries and specialties, has a profound effect on our students and alumni—and vice versa. These unique collaborations allow members of our community to constantly hone their skills and harness new ideas.
Join our network
There is a wide array of opportunities to immerse yourself in the heady, exciting worlds of women’s entrepreneurship and innovation. Join us to connect with like-minded female founders, be part of a diverse and inclusive community, attend special events, gain access to a plethora of mentorship opportunities, and more!
Become a partner
We are always looking for global thought leaders, key executives, and influential founders who have the power to help our female entrepreneurs reach new heights.
Your generous giving could spark the ripple effect within the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative—and transform the lives of our female students and alumni now and in the future.
There are a number of mentorship opportunities that foster dynamic connections between students, alumni, researchers, employers, and female entrepreneurs.
“Just in Time” Mentoring
For entrepreneurs with questions about staying resilient during this challenging time, “Just in Time” mentoring offers opportunities that foster dynamic connections between students, alumni, researchers, employers, and female entrepreneurs. Contact Katie Dimaio to take advantage of this unique mentorship program.
WISE’s WeSupport Mentorship Pipeline
The goals of WeSupport include allowing women to meet new people, dip their toes in different fields of interest, become an integral part of an innovative community, while also fostering professional connections and supporting the cohort’s ambitions by building an influential network across industries and roles. If you are an alumna looking to mentor members of our network, reach out to our leaders over at WISE.
Resources for Engineering Ventures (REV)
Housed within the Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education and the College of Engineering, REV connects entrepreneurial-minded engineering students to successful engineering alumni who help guide these students through the university’s entrepreneurial ecosystem to venture creation. Anyone interested in learning more about REV should reach out to Ted Johnson, Associate Director of the Sherman Center.
Health Science Entrepreneurs (HSE)
Residing in Bouvé College, HSE plays a critical role in the university’s mission to launch ventures addressing crucial business problems in health fields. HSE equips students, faculty, and alumni health startups with specialized education and provides opportunities for several innovative, dynamic projects to take shape. For more information about HSE, contact Program Manager Laurie Bishop.
The McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network (VMN)
The McCarthy(s) Venture Mentoring Network (VMN) is a university wide resource available to all Northeastern student, faculty, and alumni ventures. The goal of the VMN is to pair Northeastern entrepreneurs with high-quality, experienced mentors that can help address business challenges and make our ventures more successful. For more information about VMN, contact the Associate Director Katie Hemphill.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Stories
JET NOIRE, a startup that fuses identity with fashion, began when Mya Brown’s clothes were lost by a shipping company during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brown, a Northeastern international business graduate, began sewing new clothes for herself—and then for customers.
Aniyah Smith’s career timeline underwent a radical adjustment last year when the MBA student placed second among Northeastern entrepreneurs based on her idea to create inclusive and accessible cosmetics for a diverse population. “I did not expect to be building a company at 22 years old,” says Smith, winner of an inaugural $2,500 Innovator Award from Northeastern’s Women Who Empower inclusion and entrepreneurship initiative.
After testing more than 20 blends of lipstick personally and among volunteers, Michelle Calderon is preparing to launch the initial products of her startup, Addition Beauty. “We are the first sustainable makeup line that supports fertility and pregnancy,” says Calderon, who earned a Northeastern MBA last spring.
Betsy’s Current Favorites
As Northeastern’s Executive Director of Women’s Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University, Betsy is always looking for innovative ways to collaborate with this network; learn and grow through unique contingencies; and share her passion for women’s entrepreneurship with others. Take a look at her current favorite learning opportunities!
“Globally, women entrepreneurs struggle to access capital, networks, and resources needed to scale. While women make up 40 percent of entrepreneurs, they receive only 5-10 percent of VC money. As a society, we are missing innate design and innovation by women for women. Northeastern is inspiring our community by raising the global collective consciousness through thought leadership, ideation support, and connections with each other to build meaningful lifelong networks.”
—Betsy Ludwig, Executive Director, Women’s Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University
Looking to learn more?
Betsy Ludwig can address questions, comments, and concerns related to Northeastern’s women’s entrepreneurship programs.