The James Beard Foundation announced that applications are now open for the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program and Legacy Network, both key entry points for hospitality professionals to engage with the James Beard Foundation and its greater network. The Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership program trains women restaurant owners looking to scale their businesses. The Legacy Network develops and cultivates BIPOC talent in the culinary industry by pairing advisors with advisees for mentorship and training.  

Both programs are part of the James Beard Foundation’s mission to celebrate, support, and elevate the people behind America’s food culture, while pushing for new standards in the restaurant industry where all have the opportunity to thrive. As part of that vision, the Foundation provides necessary support, resources, and training to women and professionals of color, with the goal of fostering a more diverse, equitable, and sustainable industry for all.   

Now in its sixth year, the James Beard Foundation’s flagship Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program (WEL) is an advanced educational and networking program for women restaurant owners looking to expand and grow. Open to 20 participants, the 10-week program, created in conjunction with Cornell University, includes sessions on leadership, negotiating, business strategy, financial modeling, and more. The curriculum provides gender-specific training and leadership development, while addressing advanced business and finance concepts. Following completion of the program, participants will join a growing community of WEL alumnae, with regular opportunities to connect with each other and the Foundation.  

Applications for both the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 sessions open on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 and are due by end of day (11:59 PST) on Thursday, June 23, 2022.  

“The WEL Program is a unique opportunity for women leaders of hospitality to level up their personal and business growth. The education, connection, and network provided through the program have demonstrated resounding success in improving confidence and business acumen for women across the board,”says Zoe Adjonyoh, Director of Women’s Leadership Programs. “As such, we’re very excited to be scaling this initiative to two cohorts this year, and providing even more opportunities for women to close the gender ownership gap through the training they receive with WEL.”  

The program was initiated with founding support from JBF supporter Jodie W. McLean, CEO of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private retail real estate companies. The JBF Women’s Leadership Programs are sponsored by Bobbie, Bumble, Distinguished Vineyards & Wine Partners, dough Wines, Enroot, KitchenAid, and San Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Spring Water.  

To apply and learn more about the Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Program please visit: 

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