Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards 2023

Driving change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs

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

The Call for Applications for the 2024 edition is now open and will end on June 30, 2023 at 6pm CEST. Join a lifelong, global community of entrepreneurs and get human, social and financial capital support to take your business to the next level.

Why Apply?

The fellows, representing the top three businesses from each of the nine regions, will receive:

Financial capital support

• US$ 100,000 grant for each first-place awardee
• US$ 60,000 grant for each second-place awardee
• US$ 30,000 grant for each third-place awardee

Human capital support

Our fellowship program focuses on several key areas of human capital support for women impact entrepreneurs and offers a combination of 1:1 training and collective workshops.

• 1:1 training in financials, storytelling, impact measurement, etc.
• 1:1 advice sessions with subject matter experts in the Cartier Women’s Initiative community
• Community peer learning sessions
• Online and in-person leadership communications and media training workshops
• Online knowledge sessions, group coaching, and in-person INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship

Program and/or INSEAD Executive Education Program (pending admission based on INSEAD’s eligibility criteria and selection process)
• 1:1 leadership capacity executive coaching by The Coaching Fellowship

Social capital support

Throughout the program, we strive to highlight the social and environmental impact created by our 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
• Ongoing support for the development of the fellows’ businesses

Eligibility criteria

The Regional Awards of the Cartier Women’s Initiative are looking for women-run and women-owned impact-driven businesses. Entrepreneurs across all sectors and geographies are encouraged to apply.

To be considered for the Regional Awards, the applicant and her business must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • For-profit: The business should be designed to generate sufficient revenue to support its operations and return some level of profit to its owners. Non-profit enterprises are not eligible.
  • Early-stage: The business should have a proven business model and be in the initial phase of its development and growth (between 1 and 6 years of licensed/registered operations as of the date of application). This means that businesses applying to the 2024 edition must have been incorporated between June 2017 and June 2022.
  • Revenue generation: The business should be generating revenue from the sales of its products and/or services for at least 1 year as of the date of application, recurring according to your business cycle. For businesses applying to the 2024 edition, this means that they need to have been generating revenue since June 2022.
  • Fundraising: The business should not have raised more than US$2 million in dilutive funding as of the date of application. Dilutive funding is any kind of funding that requires you to give away a piece of your company, including not only future profits, but possibly control. The Regional Awards cap the funds raised in order to ensure that the businesses selected fall within a similar range of development. Please note that businesses that have not raised any external funding are also encouraged to apply.
  • Positive impact: The business should demonstrate that it has realized strong positive impact in its industry and that it has the potential to realize even more impact down the road. It should contribute to 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.
  • Leadership: The applicant must be a woman and she must fill one of the main leadership positions, for example as CEO, COO, CTO, General Manager, or Managing Director of the business.
  • Ownership: The business must be majority owned by its founders and team members at the time of application. The applicant must be part of the founding team. Moreover, one of the following conditions must be met: (1) a woman or multiple women are the largest shareholder(s) of founder equity (not total equity), or (2) the applicant owns a greater or equal to that of her co-founder(s). Sole proprietorships are ineligible for the Regional Awards.
  • Legal entry age: The applicant must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the application deadline (June 30, 2023).
  • 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 or 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. English proficiency is important because this is the common language for the Cartier Women’s Initiative team, its partners, the jury members and the overall community. Being proficient will allow the fellow to fully participate in the community and in the fellowship.
  • Time commitment: The applicant must commit to participating in the fellowship program from January 2024 to December 2024. Fellows will be expected to dedicate up to 4 hours/week virtually to the program from January 2024 to May 2024 and up to 2 hours/week virtually from June 2024 to December 2024. In addition to the virtual training, fellows will also be expected to attend one week of in-person training in May 2024. Beyond the fellowship, there are also two days of on-site filming of the fellow and their business in the first quarter of 2024. Fellows will also be required to report their impact for 3 years following the completion of their fellowship.
  • Application: The applicant should be the author of the application. We accept only one application per business. Furthermore, a business will only be considered for one award category, so pick the category where your business fits the best: refer to FAQ. Businesses that submit applications to multiple award categories will be disqualified.


June 30, 2023
Organizer Cartier Women’s Initiative
Website Visit website
Africa, Americas, Antarctica Region, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, Micronesia
Sectors Sector agnostic
SDG (17) All