Impact Day, a global convening of investors, accelerators, policy-makers, scholars, women entrepreneurs, and other key stakeholders who are dedicated to changing the landscape of financing women entrepreneurs, will take place June 5, 2019, at Babson College’s Wellesley campus, hosted by Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL).

Years after Babson College released the initial report from The Diana Project - the first report identifying that less than 3% of Venture Capital goes to female CEOs - it is time to bring together the networks of individuals who are able to create real change.

Residing on the last day of the Diana International Research Conference, which assembles scholars conducting women’s entrepreneurial research from around the world, Impact Day will combine scholarly expertise with practical approaches and policy insights.  

During this full-day program, participants will work together to explore and develop practical solutions to leverage one of the largest economic opportunities of our time, while connecting with leading individuals and organizations from around the world, including lead sponsor Bank of America, the Kauffman Foundation, Flybridge Capital, Net Wave Impact, NEVCA, Victress Capital and Portfolia.

Speakers And Panels

  • Introduction/Welcome: Lisa Thompson, Founder & CEO, Sturbridge Growth Partners and Board Chair, Babson Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership.

  • Opening Keynote: Fireside Chat featuring Karen Reynolds Sharkey, Managing Director & National Business Owner Strategy Executive at Bank of America, Private Bank, and Asmau Ahmed, Founder of Plum Perfect - Why We Need New Models for Financing Women Entrepreneurs.

  • Panel: New Models/Disruptions in Financing Women Entrepreneurs. Moderator: Suzanne Norris, Partner, Victress Capital; Panelists: Jody Rose, President, NEVCA; Trish Costello, Founder & CEO, Portfolia; Lisa Carroll, Vice President & Small Business Solutions Advisor, Bank of America; Natalia Oberti Noguera, Founder & CEO, Pipeline Angels.

  • Session A, Round I: Pipeline Issues - Short talk & round table discussions to harness the collective insights of all impact day attendees, followed by a collective debrief and policy wrap-up. Panelists: Alicia Robb, CEO, Next Wave Impact; Chip Hazard, General Partner, Flybridge Capital Partners & Investment Partner, XFactor Ventures; Carla Walker-Miller, Founder & CEO, Walker-Miller Energy Services.

  • Session A, Round II: Implicit Bias. Panelists: Maura McAdam, Director of Entrepreneurship, Dublin City University; Angela Lee, Founder, 37 Angels; Marjorie Perry, President & CEO, MZM Construction & Management Co.

  • Policy Wrap Up: Nina Roque, Executive Director, National Women's Business Council.

  • Bank of America Keynote Introduction & Research Announcement: Kathleen Auth, Senior Vice President & Market Executive at Bank of America Private Bank.

  • Lunch with Keynote Speaker: Darryl Thompson, Chief Investment Officer of New General Market Partners & Managing Partner of the New Voices Fund. 

  • Session B: Ideas in Motion - Collective Problem Solving. Use the collective wisdom and experience in the room to offer actionable solutions to challenges faced by participants as they advance women founders through research, investment, education/acceleration, and policy.

  • Closing Summary - Linking Research, Practice, and Policy: Dr. Patricia Greene, Former Director, Women's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor.

The Diana Project™

The Diana Project™ engages in research activities, forums and scholarship focusing on women entrepreneurs and their growth.  Given the vital importance of women entrepreneurs for wealth creation, innovation and economic advancement throughout the world, the Diana International ​​Research Conference provides a platform for researchers to develop, conduct and share a global research agenda. 

About Babson College

Babson College is the educator, convener, and thought leader of Entrepreneurship of All Kinds®. The top-ranked college for entrepreneurship education, Babson is a dynamic living and learning laboratory where students, faculty, and staff work together to address the real-world problems of business and society. We prepare the entrepreneurial leaders our world needs most: those with strong functional knowledge and the skills and vision to navigate change, accommodate ambiguity, surmount complexity, and motivate teams in a common purpose to make a difference in the world, and have an impact on organizations of all sizes and types. As we have for nearly a half-century, Babson continues to advance Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® as the most positive force on the planet for generating sustainable economic and social value.


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