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Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

An international entrepreneurship program that drives change by empowering female impact entrepreneurs. Founded in 2006 by Cartier, the program is open to women-run and women-owned businesses from any country and sector that aim to have a strong and sustainable social and/or environmental impact.

Why Apply?


This programme awards over $1 million each year to women impact entrepreneurs globally.

  • US$ 100,000 grant – For each of the 7 laureates (top business from each region)
  • US$ 30,000 grant – For each of the 14 remaining finalists (2nd and 3rd runner-up businesses from each region)


The fellowship programme focuses on three key areas of human capital support for women impact entrepreneurs: developing a strategic financial mindset, speaking to inspire and scaling social impact.

  • Community peer learning sessions
  • ‘Strategic financial mindset’ programme that aims to support fellows in building their roadmap for growth by reviewing their strategic financial plan
  • ‘Speaking to inspire’ communication programme that focuses on leadership presence and media training
  • Mentoring programme developed by strategic partner INSEAD business school
  • Scholarship to attend one-week INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship executive leadership programme pending admission to the programme based on eligibility criteria and selection process.


The programme strives to highlight the social impact created by fellows and bridge connections between women impact entrepreneurs and their supporters.

  • International exposure & media visibility
  • Access to an online & offline community of 500+ experts and peers

Who should apply?


  • The business must be a for-profit that has been generating revenue for at least 1 year.
  • The business must not have raised more than US$2 million in dilutive funding.
  • The business must be in the initial phase of its growth (between 1 and 5 years of licensed/registered operations).
  • The business must meet at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • A woman must fill the main leadership position. For example as CEO, General Manager or Director of the company.
  • The founder needs to be a woman and she must be the largest shareholder of founder equity in the company or own a share at least equal to that of her cofounder(s).
  • The candidate must commit to dedicating up to 4−6 hours/week virtually for the duration of the fellowship programme and to attending 1 week of in-person preparatory training.

The programme is open to women from all countries and sectors of industry.


  • Market analysis & fit
  • Sustainable business and financial model
  • Leadership team & character of founder
  • Strategy & execution
  • Embedded positive social impact
  • Commitment to Cartier Women’s Initiative
  • Quality of submission