Santucee Bell MBA’23: ‘Champion for Equity in Entrepreneurship’

Santucee Bell leans against a balcony railing in Olin Hall at Babson.

Santucee Bell MBA’23 had no doubt that Babson’s graduate school was the right college for her. After studying business administration for her bachelor’s degree, and social work for her first master’s, she discovered her passion for championing equity in entrepreneurship. After researching Babson, she knew this was the place for her to fuse her business background with social impact, and act on her dreams.

“I fell in love with this career path because social impact and entrepreneurship are my two passions,” Bell said. “Pursuing a career path in social entrepreneurship gives me the best of both worlds, which I love.”

“If Black people really want to become financially free as we were when Black Wall Street existed and accumulate generational wealth, entrepreneurship is the way to go.”
Santucee Bell, MBA'23

Before her MBA and upon entering the workforce, Bell learned firsthand that the systemic issues she studied in class were genuine barriers for people of color to earning fair pay and promotions that would enable them to achieve financial freedom. She turned her realizations and frustrations into an opportunity to help solve a societal problem, and discovered she could be an advocate and a change agent for those who wanted to use entrepreneurship as a route to freedom from injustice and economic inequality.

“If Black people really want to become financially free as we were when Black Wall Street existed and accumulate generational wealth, entrepreneurship is the way to go,” Bell said. “I like to engage in initiatives that allow me to support the success of women- and minority-owned businesses, making sure that these underrepresented entrepreneurs are able to get the resources and support they need to thrive.”

With that determination, Bell knew exactly what types of resources, offerings, and opportunities she was looking for in a graduate business school. Bell did a thorough analysis of every potential school on her list. In her opinion, Babson’s competitive advantage—including its signature Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® (ET&A™) methodology—made the decision a no-brainer for her.

“I’ve never seen a program where every square foot of the institution is rooted in entrepreneurial thought and action,” Bell said. “I want to get to the point in life where everything I do is entrepreneurial. I thought an education here would benefit me in a lifelong way. I also had a lot to offer this community.”

Committed to Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Bell knew she had found her home at Babson even before she officially made her decision, once she learned early on of the Frank & Eileen™ Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (F&E CWEL) and its Black Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (BWEL) program.

Babson student sits at a desk in the women's entrepreneurial leadership center.
As soon as Bell learned of the Frank & Eileen™ Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership, she knew she had found an opportunity to make her mark at Babson. (Photo: Mark Manne)

As soon as she began her MBA program, Bell became a project coordinator for F&E CWEL, where she has consistently worked on inclusive accelerator programs and entrepreneurship development events and initiatives, helped support diverse entrepreneurs, and formed strong bonds with the center’s faculty, staff, and leadership, including Shakenna Williams ’94, executive director of F&E CWEL and founder of BWEL.

“In the classroom or in the workplace on campus, Santucee actively listens to her colleagues while staying true to her values,” Williams said. “She is always transparent and willing to have an open dialogue about minorities and the challenges they face when it comes to closing the revenue gap. Santucee is a connector in search of resources that allow people of color to grow despite the borders that make it more difficult for them to succeed.”

Not only has Bell made lasting connections within F&E CWEL, but she is also a known leader on campus.

Bell is the co-president of the Black Graduate Club, and supports Admissions particularly on diversity recruitment efforts. She also is Butler Institute Student Scholar, a Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award recipient, and a mentor to Irene Mani ’25, a Babson undergraduate currently completing her sophomore year.

“One of my natural skills, I’m a connector. I’m resourceful. I’m good at figuring it out,” Bell said.

Mission-Driven, Action-Biased, Resilient

As a first-generation college student, Bell knows how important it is to have coaching, guidance, and support when it’s not necessarily built in for you as you grow up.

Babson student receives award of recognition on stage.
Bell receives the 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Award from Shakenna Williams ’94.

“My journey as a ‘firstie’ has been completely different from others,” Bell said. “With my circumstance, you either sink or sail. In order for me to sail, I proactively seek knowledge, resources, and relationships to bridge gaps, so I have access to the same resources that others are naturally receiving because of their status.”

Bell’s motivation to pay it forward to others has helped her visualize her entrepreneurial path. After graduation this spring, Bell aims to climb the ladder in inclusive entrepreneurship and small business support. This will enable her to continue to do what she loves—revitalize Black Wall Street by closing the wealth gap. Ultimately, she wants to build her own coaching business where she will act as a connector, resource curator, and advocate for diverse founders who are under-resourced but full of promise.

“The champion for equity in entrepreneurship is here for good,” Bell said. “Let’s connect and collaborate to spark change.”

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