Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for Women Entrepreneurs 2017 (USD100,000 to a winner from each region)

Cartier supports women entrepreneurs who lead social enterprises in their early phases that have potential to grow significantly.

Application Deadline: 31st August, 2017 (Paris time)

Offered annually? Yes

Eligible Countries: Cartier reviews applications from Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East & North Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. One from each region wins this award.

To be taken at (country): Singapore

About the Award: The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition created in 2006 by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs. Previous laureates have included several whose work links to environment and related issues, e.g., product recycling, low-cost energy, water treatment, fair trade, and others.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards aim to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve contemporary global challenges by:

• supporting and recognizing creative women who are making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of our planet,

• bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible.

Since their inception in 2006, they have accompanied 162 promising female business-owners and recognized 58 Laureates.

Offered Since: 2006

Type: Entrepreneurship contest

Eligibility: The Cartier Women’s Initiative Award is looking for committed female entrepreneurs heading initiatives with the potential to grow significantly in the years to come. The selection of the finalists and laureates of the competition is done by an independent international Jury of entrepreneurs, investors, business executives and other profiles engaged in the support of female entrepreneurship.

The project to be considered for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards must be an original for-profit business creation in its initial phase (2 to 3 years old) led by a woman:

  • The “for-profit” requirement: the business submitted for the Award must be designed to generate revenues. We do not accept non-profit project proposals.
  • The “originality” requirement: we want your project to be a new concept, conceived and imagined by the founder and her team and not a copy or subsidiary of an existing business.
  • The “initial phase” requirement: the project you submit should be in the first stages of its development meaning between 2 and 3 years old.
  • The main leadership position must be filled by a woman. A good command of English is required (both verbal and written) to take full advantage of the benefits the Award has to offer.
  • All entrants must be aged 18 or the age of legal majority in their respective countries or states of citizenship, whichever is older, on the day of the application deadline.

Selection Criteria: The Jury evaluates the projects based on criteria of creativity, sustainability (potential for growth) and impact.

  • The creativity criterion: the Jury looks at the degree of innovation shown by the overall business concept, the uniqueness of the project on the market or country where it is being developed.
  • The sustainability criterion: the Jury examines the financial impact of the business, its revenue model, development strategy and other aspects indicating its chances of long-term success and future growth.
  • The impact criterion: the Jury evaluates the effect of the business on society, in terms of jobs created or its effect on the immediate or broader environment.
  • The overall quality and clarity of the material presented: the Jury is looking for motivated and committed entrepreneurs who are passionate about their initiatives. Being clear and concise, organizing your ideas and not repeating yourself will show that you are serious about your application.

Selection Process: 

  • Round 1: The Jury selects 18 Finalists*, the top three projects of each region (Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, Asia-Pacific), on the basis of their short business plans. They receive coaching from experienced businesspeople to move to the next round.
  • Round 2: The Finalists are invited to the final round of competition which includes submitting a detailed business plan and presenting their projects in front of the Jury.

Number of Awardees: Based on the quality of the plan and the persuasiveness of the verbal presentation, one Laureate for each of the six regions is selected

Value of Competition: US$ 100 000 in prize money, a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme (ISEP), one-to-one personalized business mentoring, media visibility and networking opportunities.

How to Apply: Go here to apply

Visit Competition Webpage for details

Award Provider: Cartier

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