WIN Lab®: Why Diverse Women Are Winning
Founded with the mission to address the gender parity in major accelerator programs and pitch competitions across Babson College campus, The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’s (CWEL) Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab® was launched in 2013. WIN Lab® at Babson College invests in women, empowering them to disrupt, experiment, and build successful businesses on their own terms, through a five-month accelerator program. Now in its sixth year in Boston, and third year in Miami, WIN Lab® has seen an impressive increase in women’s participation across startup opportunities, like the Babson Entrepreneurial Thought and Action® (B.E.T.A.) Challenge, the Summer Venture Program (SVP), and Rocket Pitch.
Since its launch, WIN Lab® has helped increase the representation of women in its B.E.T.A Challenge®. Between 2014 and 2018, women represented two-thirds of all finalists in the challenge, after representing 0% of all finalists in 2012-2013. The gains don’t end there. WIN Lab® is creating space for women to excel across the board. In 2018, Babson’s Summer Venture Program showed that the number of women entrepreneurs had increased to 53% of all participants. 149 women entrepreneurs have graduated from WIN Lab® since 2013 (with 33 participating in 2018), and a select group of those have raised over 10 million dollars in funding.
To discern its impact on women in business post-accelerator, WIN Lab® spent five years researching the initial wage gap between undergraduate women in business and their male counterparts. WIN Lab® found that, while the initial pay gap for women is 80 cents on the dollar, the gap for Babson women who benefited from the support of the women’s leadership program is 94 cents on the dollar.
CWEL is one of the most visible and important organizations in which Babson College supports women entrepreneurs and impacts the larger campus ecosystem. CWEL provides the largest scholarship program on Babson’s Campus, CWEL Scholars, a program which has, to date, supported over 370 female undergraduate students and awarded them over $9.6 million.
It is clear that the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’s WIN Lab® at Babson College is committed to empowering women entrepreneurs and excelling in their mission to do so!