Under the direction of CEO Jodie W. McLean, EDENS has been a driving force behind designing and launching the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) Program, a ground-breaking program of the James Beard Foundation (JBF) in collaboration with Babson College.
The WEL program launched in 2017 and comprises an annual fellowship for a class of 20 women to attend a five-day entrepreneurship and leadership training program at Babson College. Targeted to women chefs/ owners of one or more restaurants or food businesses looking to expand and grow, the curriculum addresses advanced business and finance concerns related to entrepreneurship and expansion, as well as provide gender-specific training and leadership development.
With more female leadership guiding this valuable culinary community and workforce, women can begin to reframe the policy-making process and industry norms, including: how food is sourced, supply chain monetization, access to health care, immigration reform, fair wages and workplace sexual harassment.
This year’s program will continue forward in a virtual format with an expanded class size of 25, the largest to date. Your support of these talented women entrepreneurs will ensure the future of the restaurant industry is inclusive and prepared to take on a new world.