The Women Who Empower Innovator Awards


When we conceived the Women Who Empower Innovator Awards, we were excited about the program’s ability to help us reach some bold objectives. Yes, we wanted to amplify the power of Northeastern’s entrepreneurial ecosystem and, yes, we sought to strengthen investments in women by providing funds, prestige, and networks to propel their efforts. But we also really wanted to honor the innovators themselves rather than simply their innovations.

Now in our third year of accepting applications, the Women Who Empower Innovator Awards are more robust than ever. We encourage applications from all—even those who have applied in past years. We are also accepting nominations from our community. To nominate someone, send an email with their name, contact details, and a paragraph about why you are nominating them to Betsy Ludwig at b.ludwig@northeastern.eduWe look forward to discovering our applicants’ myriad achievements, ventures, and impact.

We are only considering the first 100 applications, so please apply as soon as possible!


We are seeking applications for one-time grants from individuals who are passionate about innovation and community, and would benefit from financial backing to develop and advance their entrepreneurial endeavors. We invite applications from students, alumni, faculty, and staff at any stage of their venture, from exploring a promising idea to scaling an existing business.


This award was created with dedicated partners, including the Cartier Women’s Initiative, who share our commitment to encourage, support, and celebrate the innovators and leaders within the Women Who Empower network, with a particular focus on creating inclusive opportunities and environments where all people can thrive.


For this 2022–2023 application cycle, we are considering the first 100 applications that we receive on a rolling basis until March 15, 2023. Semi-finalists will be notified by April 14, and final presentations will take place during the week of May 15. We encourage interested innovators to apply as early in the season as possible!


We want to hear your story and why this funding would help you and the communities you may serve. Don’t wait to submit your application—there are only 100 application spots!

Helpful tip: A few questions in the application might require extra thought. To help you prepare your draft prior to starting the submission process, we have listed the questions here:

“The Women Who Empower Innovator Awards are about increasing visibility and recognition for some of the most impressive entrepreneurs in our community, and enabling access for these incredible women who can truly make a difference.”

—Diane N. MacGillivray, Senior Vice President for University Advancement and Founder of Women Who Empower




Betsy Ludwig
Executive Director, Women’s Entrepreneurship