About Us

About Us

The Cartier Women's Initiative is an annual international entrepreneurship programme that aims to drive change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs. Founded in 2006, the programme 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.

In addition to the 7 existing Regional Awards, the initiative has launched the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, a new thematic category for the 2021 edition that aims to support women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation.



Our vision is a world in which every woman impact entrepreneur driving social change can achieve her full potential.


Our mission is to shine a light on women impact entrepreneurs and provide them with the necessary financial, social and human capital support to grow their business and build their leadership skills.

In less than a decade, the Cartier Awards has grown from attracting 360 to 1200 applications per year. With a growth in both the quantity and the quality of the businesses applying, the initiative has become a transformative step in the lives of 240 women entrepreneurs in 56 countries.
Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier

The following principles inform our mission and guide our actions:

1. We believe women can be extraordinary change agents, and we leverage business as an important force for good.

2. We contribute by creating opportunities for everyone. Talent is universal but opportunities are not. 

3. We are constantly learning. We leave room for the possibility that there is something we have not learnt yet that could make us even better.

4. We see beyond ourselves and care for our team, communities that we serve and communities that we are a part of.


Since 2006, Cartier has accompanied 240 promising female entrepreneurs hailing from 56 different countries and has awarded over 3 million USD to support these businesses.



Regional Awards: Every year, the Regional Awards recognise 21 talented women impact entrepreneurs who are leveraging business as a force for good. These women hail from seven regions across the globe: Latin America & the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, East Asia and South Asia & Oceania. Three finalists are selected per region during the first round of evaluation and one laureate is selected per region during the second round of evaluation. Each of the 7 laureates is awarded US$ 100,000 in grant whereas each of the14 remaining finalists (second and third runner-up for each region) receives US$ 30,000 in grant.

Science & Technology Pioneer Award: As of the 2021 edition, three more women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation will be recognised for this new thematic award. Open to women entrepreneurs from any country and sector, this award will highlight disruptive solutions built around unique, protected, or hard-to-reproduce technological or scientific advances. The laureate will be awarded US$ 100,000 in grant whereas each of the two remaining finalists will receive US$ 30,000 in grant.



The Fellowship is an educational programme geared towards the 24 fellows selected each year. The fellowship programme aims to equip them with the necessary skills to grow their business and to build their leadership capacity by drawing upon the experience and expertise of a vast array of academics, practitioners, industry experts, and entrepreneurs.

For more information, please consult the Fellowship section.



In order to ensure that our fellows get the guidance and support that they need throughout the lifecycle of their business, we built a network of former fellows, coaches, jury members, ecosystem partners, ambassadors, advisors, and investors that can provide them with access to relationships, knowledge, and capital. Unlike the Awards and the Fellowship, which are structured, short-term programmes, the Community is a way for us to engage with our network and with the greater entrepreneurial ecosystem on an ongoing basis. Our ultimate goal is to foster a vibrant global community of thinkers and doers rallied around the cause of women’s entrepreneurship for social and environmental impact.



We tap into our community's vast pool of talent, expertise, and experience by curating and bringing to light some of the boldest and most thought-provoking ideas. Our community also represents a valuable source of data, which we are hoping to harness to create primary insights on the state of women impact entrepreneurship across the world.


The Cartier Women's Initiative is a joint partnership initiated by Cartier and INSEAD Business School. Each partner brings its expertise to the programme: Cartier leads the programme and provides funding for the businesses whereas INSEAD serves as the strategic academic partner.