President's Vision | Reaffirming Our Strategic Direction



Joan Lau
Managing Partner
Militia Hill Ventures


Dear Colleagues,

The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) has recently reaffirmed our strategic direction in supporting women entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on those founders actively scaling their businesses.

Our mission to promote a strong, supportive and influential entrepreneurial community continues through membership growth, enhancing interactions and relationships, and focusing on the needs of entrepreneurial women in high-growth businesses.

Gazelles is a term used by AWE and others to describe individuals who imagine and build for growth, and we have more fully embraced this term to fully define a most crucial sector of members. Over the course of the last few years, changes to our programming, networking, and support focused on a framework to best support gazelles, as they learn and interact together.

As a result, we have evolved some of our efforts to emphasize the growth of gazelles and their businesses. Our flagship Fellows program looks to accelerate more businesses, and more entrepreneurs than before, with a focus on emerging entrepreneurs with businesses at the pitch stage. AWE Ventures powered by Ben Franklin has directly funded over a dozen emerging businesses in just the last year. Our CEO roundtable has been re-aligned as well to focus on established active women entrepreneurs. We extend interactions throughout  our entire community at the Summer Networking Event and the Iris Newman Award gala.

Similarly, we are focusing our leadership to be equally reflective of high growth women founders, through Board responsibilities and composition. The value to AWE, and of AWE to the greater Philadelphia area is through continued growth and sustenance of a strong entrepreneurial membership base and concomitant leadership at the Board.

We’ll be celebrating 20 years this November! It’s such a pivotal time in our organization and we are so proud of what we have built. You, our intrepid members, constantly motivate us to strive to be and do more. Not only can we create an environment for you to learn from each other, but we want to learn from you as well. Any feedback or input on ways to improve is warmly welcomed.

To our continued success,

Joan Lau, PhD
Founding Managing Partner
Militia Hill Ventures