Across the globe women continue to struggle to be acknowledged as entrepreneurs and business leaders. Report after report delivers the same conclusion – access to funding, networks and mentorships are the major barriers that stand in their way. And, in fact, this is true for many entrepreneurs both male and female alike.
As a company, Cartier therefore identified that they would like to support women-led startups. To do this, they teamed up with McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to create the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.
These unique Awards create a network of professionals that can steer women entrepreneurs towards growth. This is done not only through a financial reward of US$ 20,000 for all Laureates but also by providing coaching opportunities with experts so that entrepreneurs struggling to wed business with social impact can tap into the knowledge of global players.
Since its inception, the Cartier Awards competition has drawn a broad diversity of candidates – such as enterprises that provide sanitation solutions in the slums of Kenya to beauty products farmed by women in Senegal. The Awards supports a diversity of locations, including entrepreneurs that make hand-made shoes in Indonesia, engineer courses for children in Lebanon and chemotherapy toxicity treatments in France.
Altogether, those that have competed in the Awards have created over 1,000 direct and indirect jobs across the globe.
The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are about meeting and acknowledging the dynamic women driving stimulating projects for sustainability. Moreover, the Awards are contributing to widespread economic development as women-led firms frequently advocate flexibility, social interest and benefits for the community and are key to the success of a country.
The 2012 Laureate for North America, Ting Shih who is the founder of ClickMedix says, “Winning the Cartier Awards was a huge validation for me, and many doubters began to think differently about me. The seven-month long competition was an experience of a lifetime!”
The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are open to women of all ages running any business that fulfils the main value criteria: innovation, financial sustainability and social impact. Applications for the 2013 edition are open until March 8th.
Apply now for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards: