Our inaugural class of JBF WEL fellows working on growing their businesses at Babson College, September 2017.
The 2018 application period has closed. Get updates on the program, 2019 application deadlines, and related events by signing up for our newsletter.


The Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL) comprises an annual fellowship for a class of up to 20 women to attend a five-day entrepreneurship and leadership training program, developed with and hosted at 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 gender-specific training and leadership development. An emphasis on work/life balance and other cultural issues will also be part of the program.

In addition to the Babson curriculum, JBF’s WEL Program will cultivate a group of mentors who agree to provide expertise and career development support to the participants on an ongoing basis once they leave the program. Occasional in-person meetings and webinars will be held throughout the year in order to grow the network of women leaders across the country.

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

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


Celebrating Change for Women Chefs and Restaurateurs

JBF Hosts Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Program Kickoff in California 


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

Founding Support


Additional Support