Women Who Empower
Innovator Awards

Launched in 2021, the Women Who Empower Innovator Awards recognize bold, creative changemakers in Northeastern’s vast entrepreneurial ecosystem—and provide them with capital, resources, and network to elevate their ideas, products, businesses, and brands.

What truly sets the Innovator Awards apart is that the program recognizes and celebrates the innovators themselves—not just their idea or venture. Program applicants are first evaluated by a committee to determine semifinalists, and then reviewed by a team of experienced judges on several rubrics including creativity, leadership, entrepreneurship, authenticity, community and inclusion, track record, and the overall potential impact of their idea.


We are seeking applications for one-time grants from individuals who are passionate about innovation and community and would benefit from financial backing to develop and advance their entrepreneurial endeavors.

We invite submissions from Northeastern undergraduate and graduate students, university alumnae, and program alumnae of the Roux Institute Founder Residency and Lab for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. Candidates can be at any stage of their venture, from exploring a promising idea to scaling an existing business. 

In 2023, we added five specialized awards to align with the values and mission of the university and our Experience Powered by Northeastern campaign. Recipients of our Innovators Powering a Better Future awards are dually recognized for their commitment to advancing five priorities: health solutions, diverse and inclusive communities, global change, social impact, and sustainability.


This award was created to encourage, support, and celebrate the innovators and visionaries within the Women Who Empower network, with a particular focus on creating inclusive opportunities and environments where all people can thrive.


The application cycle for the 2024 Innovator Awards will close on March 25. We encourage interested innovators to prepare their materials in advance and apply as early in the season as possible!


We want to hear your story and how this funding will help you and the causes and communities you serve. Visit the Prepare Your Answers section below for more details on how to prepare your application.

Questions? Contact:
Betsy Ludwig

Executive Director, Women's Entrepreneurship

A few application questions may require extra thought. To help you prepare your draft prior to beginning the submission process, we have listed some sample prompts here.