The Alliance of Women Entrepreneurs honored Donna De Carolis, dean of Drexel University’s Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, with its Iris Newman Award. De Carolis received the award at AWE’s annual gala on Nov. 16 at the World Café Live. The Iris Newman award is presented annually to a woman who exhibits a trailblazing spirit, inspiring leadership and stalwart support for women in the entrepreneurial community.
As founding dean of the Close School, the nation’s first freestanding, degree-granting school of entrepreneurship, De Carolis has initiated a pioneering approach to entrepreneurship education. Her vision is to empower all university students with the belief that they can be entrepreneurs – by broadly defining entrepreneurship as an attitude that incorporates innovative thinking and doing in all facets of life, career and profession.
De Carolis' research has appeared in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, the Journal of Management and Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. She is the recipient of the prestigious Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Distinguished Teaching Excellence Award from Executive MBAs. She frequently speaks to companies about leadership and innovation.
“As a community, we are fortunate to have retained Donna’s expertise and dedication to advancing entrepreneurs right here in the Greater Philadelphia region,” said Elaine Jones, Executive Director of Venture Capital at Pfizer and Iris Newman Award Selection Committee Chair, “It is a privilege and honor to acknowledge her accomplishments and passion for supporting women entrepreneurs through our presentation of the Iris Newman Award.”
Well-known throughout the Philadelphia region as a lecturer and media personality, De Carolis contributes weekly commentaries to KYW Newsradio. In addition, her commentary has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Business Journal and Forbes online. She is a member of the board of directors for both the Barra Foundation and Faith in the Future Foundation, making a highly positive impact on local communities.
Prior to coming to Drexel, De Carolis served as a strategy consultant and lobbyist. She earned her doctoral degree in strategic management from Temple University and holds an MBA from Villanova University.
The AWE Annual Gala is the organization’s premier networking event for dynamic women entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of building high-growth businesses. The evening also featured keynote speaker Pamela Rykman, author of Stiletto Network: Inside the Women's Power Circles That Are Changing the Face of Business.
AWE established the Iris Newman Award in honor of Iris Newman, a founder of AWE and a life long leader of women entrepreneurs. The Iris Newman Award is given each year to a woman business leader who has demonstrated a strong commitment to helping advance women entrepreneurs and to celebrate the great successes women are achieving as we continue to "move the needle" for women high-growth entrepreneurs.