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Babson Expands Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Women MBAs

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While more women than ever are earning MBAs, there’s still a lot to be done to advance the role of women in business. Though the average enrollment of women in full-time MBA programs at 36 top business schools climbed from 32 percent to 36 percent between 2011 and 2015, that growth hasn’t necessarily been reflected in the workforce yet. Women occupy only 22.9 percent of board positions for Fortune 500 companies and only 6.4 percent of CEO positions.

The Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab at Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business is part of that school’s effort to bridge this gap and increase the number of women leaders in business.


The Babson College WIN Lab was created by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) to provide women entrepreneurs with a community of like-minded individuals as well as a demanding, experiential learning opportunity meant to catalyze innovative thinking. The goal of the program is to help women successfully launch and/or transform a business.

Currently in its fourth year, the WIN Lab has been recognized by the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship with its “Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Award.” The program also earned designation by BostInno as one of Boston’s “50 on Fire” innovators and visionaries.

This year, the WIN Lab is going even further by launching the WIN Lab Intensity Track for MBA students. This track provides women MBA students who have been accepted into the WIN Lab accelerator with an opportunity to earn course credit and a special degree designation, transforming an extracurricular activity into a degree opportunity.

WIN Lab Intensity Track

The WIN Lab Intensity Track was created in partnership between Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business and the WIN Lab. The track provides eligible women MBA students with course credit for their efforts to develop high-growth, female-led companies.

In a press release from the college, Candida Brush, Babson College’s vice provost of global entrepreneurial leadership, spoke about the new opportunity: “The WIN Lab has proved that women entrepreneurs participating in this program hit milestones, develop broad networks, and more rapidly develop their businesses. By combining this intensive lab experience with coursework, participants will have a chance to build directly on classroom experiences and apply what they learn in the lab.”

The Intensity Track is an eight-month, three-credit experience for women entrepreneurs who want to become CEOs. It offers rigorous entrepreneurial coursework along with applied experiences and mentoring opportunities. Students will also be able to hit milestone achievements that move their early-stage ventures from prototype to launch and, eventually, business growth. The track also includes a series of MBA entrepreneurship electives such as the prerequisite class “New Venture Creation.”

Women MBA students who participate in the WIN Lab Intensity Track benefit from:

  • Weekly, three-hour meetings with faculty and advisors. These meetings offer students the technical expertise and skills needed to get their business idea off the ground through input from a variety of “entrepreneurship stakeholders, including serial entrepreneurs, service providers, and investors.”
  • Private office hours to discuss their experience and receive insights from a range of experts in the field.
  • Twice-a-month meetings with a compatibility-matched coach.
  • Access to strategic networks and opportunities through a series of public events.

Heatherjean MacNeal, co-founder and global director of the WIN Lab, commented in the press release, “The WIN Lab Intensity Track provides the opportunity for the entrepreneurial student to have it all—to scale their business amidst an inspiring cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs, while also fulfilling elective coursework requirements and becoming deeply immersed in Boston’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through WIN Lab programming.”

MBA students who complete the WIN Lab Intensity Track will also receive a special designation at commencement.

About Babson College

Babson College is considered a thought leader by Entrepreneurship of All Kinds, a website and source for articles about entrepreneurial leaders, organizations, and ideas. Babson is also a top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education according to U.S. News & World Report, the Financial Times, and Entrepreneur Magazine/Princeton Review.

This post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,