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Annual Research Conference

Established in 1999 by five founding scholars, the Diana International Research Conference is the premier international research conference on women’s entrepreneurship, gathering a collaborative network of researchers studying women’s entrepreneurship from more than 60 countries.

The 2023 Diana International Research Conference

June 3-6, 2023 | Wellesley, Massachusetts USA

The Diana International Research Conference brings together more than 100 scholars worldwide, providing a forum to share global research dedicated to gender and women’s entrepreneurship.

Hosted by Babson College, the 2023 Diana Conference will provide scholars with an exciting new conference experience. Delegates will have opportunities to participate in a range of innovative sessions comprising plenaries, facilitated critical synopsis, roundtable, and themed panel discussions. There will also be opportunities for scholars to debate early-stage—novel but potentially ground-breaking research ideas—with the international Diana community.

The conference theme is “Women's Entrepreneurship: Exploring Diversity of Experiences and Impact.” Recent scholarship has acknowledged that there is significant heterogeneity and diversity in women’s entrepreneurship. Building on this new reality, the 2023 Conference seeks conceptual and empirical papers that consider the diversity of women’s entrepreneurship with regards to context, processes and individuals.

Call for Conference Proposals

Diana International Research Conference 2024 & 2025

We invite proposals from Colleges and Universities wishing to co-sponsor and host the 2024 and 2025 Diana International Research Conference.

Deadline for Proposals

Friday, April 28, 2023 at 5:00 p.m. EST

The Diana International Research ​​Conference is the premier research conference for an international community of scholars to convene and share research that directly impacts theory, practice, education, and policy for women entrepreneurs worldwide.

Since 2003, Diana International Research Conferences have brought together scholars from more than 47 countries worldwide, providing a platform to share a global research agenda dedicated to asking and answering questions about women entrepreneurs. The 14th Diana International Research Conference was held at Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland in 2022, and the 15th annual conference will be held in 2023 at Babson College, Wellesley, Mass., USA.

The research conferences are sponsored by the Diana International Research Institute, the permanent home of the Diana Project™, a global consortium of researchers who engage in scholarship, forums, and education focusing on gendered ecosystems, women entrepreneurs and their business growth. Established in 1999 by Professors Brush, Carter, Gatewood, Greene, and Hart—in partnership with ESBRI, Stockholm, the Diana Project has led the research agenda in women’s entrepreneurship across continents, cultures, and contexts.

The Conference is typically two days, beginning with an evening reception on the first day that attendees arrive. In addition to organizing the plenary and parallel paper sessions, the co-sponsoring institution is responsible for organizing one reception, one gala dinner, one breakfast, and one lunch. However, the conference schedule, number of days and presentations, and day of gala dinner can be flexible depending on the number of attendees, and program design of co-sponsor.

We invite proposals from Colleges and Universities wishing to co-sponsor and host the 2024 and 2025 Diana International Research Conference.

  • A cover letter that indicates the co-sponsoring institution interest and the month and year it wishes to co-sponsor the conference. The Diana International Research Conference is presently an annual event, and the conference may be held at any time of year, but it is preferred that it is immediately before or after another conference (i.e., ICSB, ISBE, ACERE, AOM, BCERC) so that participants can attend both events in a given region.
  • Information about the co-sponsoring institution, including its research and program activities related to research on gender, diversity and women’s entrepreneurship.
  • Identification of Faculty Co-director(s) team and their biographies. Faculty co-directors should have previously attended Diana Conferences, and indicate their experiences and work for previous conferences, especially experience in reviewing and editorial work.
  • Specification of sufficient program management staff to assist with planning and execution of the conference.
  • Proposed Plans for the 5 core activities including suggested venues, and other plans: Opening cocktail event, Plenary sessions, Gala dinner, Awards Luncheon and Impact Day (see below for description).
  • Availability of conference facilities (auditorium, meeting rooms, break out rooms) (Include photos or link to site if possible).
  • Availability and proximity of hotel facilities to accommodate approximately 100 people and location. (Please include a list of hotels and estimated room costs)
  • Provision for buffet breakfast and lunch during the conference.
  • Transportation plan—approximate airfare, hotel costs, transfers and logistics from the airport to hotel, and hotel to meeting facilities.
  • General travel information to the city location, the airport, and the venue.
  • Brief information on sightseeing and tourist information.
  • An expected budget for the research conference.
Kick-Off
Restaurant Tours
Welcome from the Co-hosting Institution
Day 1
0915 Welcome
(Co-hosts and their Institutions)
0930 Opening Plenary
(Keynote Speaker + a panel with industry - including female entrepreneurs + academics)
1100 Coffee & Networking
1130 Paper Sessions (1)
(3 x traditional sessions with 4 papers in each; grouped by theme/topic; 15 mins per presenter + Q & A; Three session chairs needed)
1300 Lunch
1400 Paper Sessions (2)
(3 x traditional sessions with 4 papers in each; grouped by theme/topic; 15 mins per presenter + Q & A; Three session chairs needed)
1515 Coffee & Networking
1600 Paper Sessions (3)
(3 x traditional sessions with 4 papers in each; grouped by theme/topic; 15 mins per presenter + Q & A; Three session chairs needed)
1730 Get Ready for the Diana Dinner Celebration
2000 The 2023 Diana Dinner Celebration
Day 2
0900 Paper Sessions (4)
(3 x traditional sessions with 4 papers in each; grouped by theme/topic; 15 mins per presenter + Q & A; Three session chairs needed)
1030 Coffee & Networking
1100 Paper Sessions (5)
(3 x traditional sessions with 4 papers in each; grouped by theme/topic; 15 mins per presenter + Q & A; Three session chairs needed)
1230 Poster Session
1330 Final Wrap-up, Key Take-Aways & Future Directions
(Event Co-hosts and Co-hosts for the next year)
1400 Lunch
(‘Stay and Enjoy' or ‘Get it to go’)
Closing Reception
1800 Sip and Shop, or event at a special location
Welcome from the Co-hosting Institution
Day 3
This half-day event is tied to the theme of the annual conference, and features speakers, panels and a workshop to collectively explore practical solutions, develop best practices, and generate needed policy solutions to leverage one of the largest economic opportunities of our time.

More than 100 scholars from around the world attend the first two days of the Diana International Research Conference, dedicated to the presentation of academic research related to women’s entrepreneurship. On day three, Impact Day, an additional 100 action-oriented stakeholders are expected to join.

We expect three outcomes:
  1. A convening of practitioners, scholars, educators, investors, policy-makers and others to discuss best practices associated with gender and women’s entrepreneurship.
  2. Ideas in motion—a real time problem solving activity engaging all stakeholders to solve challenges for women entrepreneurs around the theme of the conference.
  3. A practitioner report summarizing best practices from the event.

2022 Conference Recap

Dublin City University hosted our 13th Annual Diana International Research Conference, which focused on women’s digital entrepreneurship. More than 100 researchers attended the 2 day research conference and participated in spirited conversations about research and practice. This was followed by the 3rd Annual Diana Impact day that brought together scholars, researchers, investors, entrepreneurs, educators and policymakers. Special guests included the Lord Mayor of Dublin Dr. Alison Gilliland and Ukrainian Ambassador Larysa Gerasko.

We are grateful to our conference Co-hosts, Prof. Maura McAdam and Prof. Regina Connolly, our Co-chairs Dr. Candida Brush and Dr. Karen Hughes as well as Dr. Amanda Elam and our sponsors:

  • Babson College
  • Dublin City University
  • Emerald Publishing International Journal of Gender & Entrepreneurship
  • Nord University
  • University of Alberta
  • EY
  • Enterprise Ireland
  • W Working for Women’s Economic Development
  • Bentley University
  • Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research Institute
  • European Structural and Investment Funds

Diana International Research Conference - History

The Diana Project was internationalized in 2003, when the first Diana International Conference was held in Stockholm, Sweden, hosting 25 participants from 10 countries. The mailing list of scholars participating in the Diana International Conferences includes over 600 scholars from 47 countries who have submitted papers or attended the events since 2003. Over the years, Diana International scholars have published 9, soon to be 10, edited volumes of academic research on women’s entrepreneurship around the world (Edward Elgar Publishing), in addition to nine special issues of top entrepreneurship research journals.[1] 

Previous special issues emerging from Diana International Conferences devoted to gender and women’s entrepreneurship include three issues of Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice (2006 and 2007, edited by de Bruin, Brush and Welter in 2006 and 2007; and 2012, edited by Hughes & Jennings) as well one special issue for  Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 2012 (edited by Cooper and McGowan), and one special issue on women entrepreneurs and ecosystems in Small Business Economics 2018 (edited by Edelman, Manolova, Brush, Welter). The most recent special issue was released in January 2019, high growth women’s entrepreneurship, in the Journal of Small Business Management. Together these special issues generated more than 60 submissions and did much to consolidate existing scholarship in this area to date.  These articles are highly cited:  the special issue of ET&P (2007) has over 4,000 citations with a number of  individual articles in the special issues having more than 1,000 citations including those

[1] https://www.babson.edu/womens-leadership-institute/diana-international-research-institute/research/diana-project/