Cartier Women’s Initiative 2020 Awards for Innovative Women Entrepreneurs(US$ 100 000 prize)

Palm oil trading and supply blueprint

The Cartier Women’s Initiative is looking for committed women entrepreneurs heading businesses with the potential to grow significantly in the years to come. It is a unique opportunity for them to take their companies to the next level.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an annual international business competition created in 2006 to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.

Eligibility Requirements:

To be considered for the Cartier Women’s Initiative, the business must meet the following eligibility criteria:

• For-profit: the business should be designed to generate sufficient revenues to support its operations and return some level of profit to its owners. Non-profit project proposals are not accepted.

• Early stage: the business should have a proven business model and be in the initial phase of its development and growth (between 1 and 5 years of licensed/registered operations).  We are focused on companies that are majority owned by founders and employees at the time of application. 

• Revenue generation: the business should currently be generating revenue from the sales of its products and/or services for at least 1 year as of the date of application. It being understood that a business that is generating revenue is not necessarily profitable in its first years of operations. 

• Fundraising: the business should not have raised more than US$2 million in dilutive funding. The Cartier Women’s Initiative caps the funds raised in order to ensure that the businesses selected fall within a similar range of development.

 Impact: the business should meet at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the environment. They cover a series of social, economic, and environmental development issues.

• Women leadership & ownership: The main leadership position must be filled by a woman either in the capacity of Director, General Manager or CEO. She must also own significant stake within the company. The ownership of the business is evaluated based on the position of the candidate in relation to other stakeholders.

• Legal entry age: The lead entrant must be 18 or the age of legal majority in country of citizenship (whichever is older) on the day of the application deadline.

• English proficiency: A good command of the English language is required (both verbal and written). We require the Common European Framework of Reference Level B2 and above. This level requires an understanding of the main ideas of complex text, technical discussion in business and your field of specialization and an ability to interact with fluency and spontaneity with native speakers. 

• Time commitment: The lead entrant must commit to dedicating 3 – 4 hours/week virtually from January to April to participate in the Cartier programme, can commit to submitting deliverables on time, and can attend 1 week of in-person workshops in early May (exact date TBC).


The 21 finalists, representing the top 3 businesses from each of the 7 regions (Latin America & the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, East Asia, South Asia & Oceania), will receive:

• One-to-one personalized business and financial coaching prior to the Awards Week.

• A series of business coaching workshops and networking sessions during the Awards Week.

• Media visibility for the finalists and their businesses in the months leading up to the Awards Week and interview opportunities with local & international press during the Awards Week.


The 7 laureates (1 from each region) will receive:

US$ 100 000 in prize money.

The 14 finalists (the two runners-up from each region) will receive:

• US$ 30 000 in prize money.


In addition to the prize money, all 21 finalists will be awarded:

• A scholarship to attend the six-day INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Executive Education Programme (pending admission to the programme based on eligibility criteria and selection process).

• Ongoing support for the further growth and development of their business.

How to Apply:

To apply to the Cartier Women’s Initiative, you only need to complete the online application form (see questions here). In the form, the supporting documentation listed below will be required from you:


• Your resume

• Your business registration document

• Your pitch deck: we have no specific form for the pitch deck, just submit one that you have that describes your impact business. This can be an investor presentation or a product presentation (no more than 15 pages max.). 


• A link to a 1 min video of yourself: the video should help the selection committee gain a sense of your character.

• 3 additional attachments: image of product, brochure, press, article, research, etc.

These documents must be submitted as attachments along with your application form in the “Attachments” section and cannot be sent separately by e-mail.

Click here to learn more and apply

Application Deadline: AUGUST 14, 2019 AT 2PM (CEST)

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