Our inaugural class of JBF WEL fellows working on growing their businesses at Babson College, September 2017.

Applications for the 2020 program are open! Apply here

Get updates on the program, application deadlines, and related events by signing up for our newsletter or joining our Facebook group.

The application deadline has been extended to April 30, 2020.


The Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL), a part of our Women's Leadership Programs presented by Audi, is comprised of an annual fellowship for a class of up to 20 women to attend a five-day entrepreneurship and leadership training program, developed with Babson College. Targeted to women chefs/owners of one restaurant or food business looking to expand and grow, the curriculum will address advanced business and finance concerns related to entrepreneurship and expansion, as well as provide training and leadership development. An emphasis on work/life balance and other cultural issues will also be part of the program.

The program was initiated by JBF supporter Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private retail real estate companies.  

Want to know if WEL is good fit for you? If you are...

  • 21 years of age or older
  • A woman or nonbinary individual
  • A current owner or co-owner of one or two food, beverage, or related businesses in the United States, with a strong desire to learn, network, and grow your business
  • Interested in an intensive entrepreneurial management program that also provides training and leadership development

Then WEL is right for you!

For those interested in learning more about the WEL program and application, as well as other James Beard Foundation Women Leadership Programs, sign up for our email list. You’ll receive updates about application deadlines, events, and other program news.



For more information about the Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program, please email Emily Rothkrug at erothkrug@jamesbeard.org.

The James Beard Foundation's Women's Leadership Program is Presented by

With Visionary Support by

Along with Sustaining Partner

Additional Support