The women’s entrepreneurial experience at MIT started in 1870 when Ellen Henrietta Swallow first stepped foot on campus as an “experimental student.” Some 30 years later, she became the second president of the M.I.T. Women’s Association, organized with her help “to promote greater fellowship among Institute women.”1  In the years since, the immeasurable contribution of MIT’s women to innovation and entrepreneurship has spanned the globe.

In November, MIT commemorates the 150th anniversary of the first woman student at MIT with Women’s Entrepreneurship Month at MIT—a celebration of our women entrepreneurs.

Organized by MIT Innovation Initiative and MIT Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship, and in association with the official Women’s Entrepreneurship Organization, innovation and entrepreneurship groups across campus will participate in activities anchored by a virtual event on November 19—a candid conversation with innovators at MIT who represent the pipeline of women in innovation and entrepreneurship from undergraduate to faculty. The event will include breakout room networking, ensuring women will gain inspiration, insights, and new connections at MIT. Register here.

“It’s really the people that make innovation more than an ‘ecosystem’; MIT has built a thriving ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship Community‘” says Lauren Tyger, MIT Innovation Initiative Program Manager, Community and Resources. “When more women are involved in the innovation process, the impact extends further. Women’s Entrepreneurship Month at MIT is about amplifying the stories of our entrepreneurial women, and we want the community to drive this.”

Organizations currently participating in activities include MIT D-Lab, Graduate Womxn at MIT (gwaMIT), Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, WISDM, and MIT PKG Public Service Center, and the entire MIT Community is encouraged to participate in the celebration. You can:

  • Join the #WEMatMIT social media campaign
  • Submit a video
  • Host a virtual event
  • Promote activities on your website and to your personal networks

Learn more about celebration activities, watch and read the stories, and see how you can get involved at

  1. Women at MIT; MIT Institute Archives & Special Collections