The purpose of Asian Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) is to assist Asian Pacific Women to realize their entrepreneurial potential—promoting their entrepreneurial skills in a dynamic business environment, identifying specific needs of Asian Pacific Women, and providing available resources through entrepreneurial networking opportunities to assist members to grow their businesses to the next level.


To provide regular focused membership networking opportunities, promoting entrepreneurial relationship.

To establish itself as the premier educational and networking resources for Asian Pacific Women Entrepreneurs.

To provide value-based information on entrepreneurial and/or personal development skills through seminars/classes available to access to AWE through in-house or outsource professional women organizations.

To provide entrepreneurial and life balance to members through positive social gatherings forging camaraderie relationship among members thus creating a healthy and wholesome organization.

To support local charities through active participation by AWE members in community services/philanthropic contributions, making a difference in the lives of others who have needs.

To award scholarships to financially challenged students pursuing their higher studies, preparing them for their career development.

Women start businesses at twice the rate as men but they are often at a disadvantage when it comes to knowing the right people, getting information and support, and above all, acquiring the capital to make their businesses grow. It is AWE’s mission to bridge that gap and to get women right on track.


Asian Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) was founded in September 2005 by Josie de la Cruz and Alice Lei. These women have attributed their community leadership role, hard work, and, most importantly, their dedication and enthusiasm to volunteer services that benefit the community.

AWE is a non-profit (C (3)) organization representing the interests of Asian Pacific Women entrepreneurs in all types of businesses and professions. The wide range of businesses owned by AWE members is impressive—accounting, mortgage services, financial investment consultants, real estate investment firm, advertising, land development, engineering firm, lawyers, computer engineering, graphic design and printing, educators, import/export, cosmetic aesthetic, gift baskets, communications, medical, dental and healthcare services providers, and others.

AWE has an open door policy and works with other groups such as the Coalition of 100 Black Women, 100 Hispanic Women, and other organizations to maximize opportunities to share, learn, and make business connections and deals. We also have consulting services in obtaining Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprise certification and other areas of business development. Above all else, we are available to assist our members in all aspects of small business development.

The Asian Woman is the pinnacle of feminine beauty and power. Deeply rooted in her heritage, like how the roots of the Lotus run deep, she pushes to rise above the obstacles she faces. By the strength of its stem, the Lotus reaches above the surface of the water, and with the strength and support of AWE, the woman is able to rise above the adversity of a dynamic business environment. Through the network and sponsorships of this organization, AWE is able to promote each Asian and Asian American woman’s skills and help her to realize and strengthen her entrepreneurial potential. And as the Lotus rises clean from the bottom of the pond, flawless and beautiful, so does the Asian Woman ascends as a successful entrepreneur.

Board Of Directors

Co-Founder & President: Alice Lei
Treasurer: Cris de la Cruz
Secretary: Deirdre Kelly
Legal Counsel: Luci Chin
Membership: Jeannie Luong
Program: Steve Giraud

Advisory Council

Dr. Lori Adrian
President, Coastline Community College

Dr. Ding-Jo Currie
Professor of Education, CA State University Fullerton
President, United Education Alliance

Dr. Fred Zandpour
Professor and Vice Chair, College of Community
CA State University Fullerton

Luci Chum
Attorney at Law

Vivian Shimoyama
Director, Goldman Sachs 1000 Small Business Program
Long Beach Community College

Rachel Baranick
Deputy District Director, Santa Ana District
US Small Business Administration