The Cartier Women’s Initiative is an annual international entrepreneurship programme that aims to drive change by empowering women impact entrepreneurs.
Founded in 2006 by Cartier, 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. The Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional Awards select 21 fellows from 7 regions:
- Latin America & the Caribbean
- North America
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Middle East & North Africa
- East Asia
- South Asia & Oceania
The Cartier Women’s Initiative is looking for women-run and women-owned impact-driven businesses. Entrepreneurs across all sectors and from around the world are encouraged to apply.
To be considered for the Regional Awards, the applicant’s 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 enterprises 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). For the 2021 edition, we are looking for businesses that have been incorporated between August 2015 and August 2019. Moreover, 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 is 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$2 million in dilutive funding. The Regional Awards cap the funds raised in order to ensure that the businesses selected fall within a similar range of development.
• Impact: the business should meet at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the environment. They cover a series of social, economic, and environmental development issues.
• Leadership: A woman must fill the main leadership position, for example as CEO, General Manager or Director of the company.
• Ownership: The founder needs to be a woman and she must be the largest shareholder of founder equity in the company or own a share at least equal to that of her cofounder(s).
• Legal entry age: The lead entrant must be 18 on the day of the application deadline (July 31, 2020).
• English proficiency: A good command of the English language is required (both verbal and written). We require the Common European Framework of Reference Level B2 or above. This level requires an understanding of the main ideas of complex text, technical discussion in business and your field of specialisation, and an ability to interact with fluency and spontaneity with native speakers.
• Time commitment: The applicant must commit to dedicating up to 4 hours/week virtually for the duration of the fellowship programme and to attending one week of in-person preparatory training (date TBC).
The 21 fellows, representing the top three businesses from each of the seven regions, will receive:
FINANCIAL CAPITAL SUPPORT
• US$ 100,000 grant for each of the 7 laureates (top business from each region)
• US$ 30,000 grant for each of the 14 finalists (2nd and 3rd runner-up businesses from each region)
HUMAN CAPITAL SUPPORT
The fellowship programme focuses on several key areas of human capital support for women impact entrepreneurs, including developing a strategic financial mind-set, speaking to inspire and scaling social impact.
• Community peer learning sessions
• ‘Strategic financial mind-set’ module that aims to support fellows in building their roadmap for growth
• ‘Speaking to inspire’ communication module that focuses on leadership presence and media training
• Strategy mentoring module developed by our academic partner INSEAD business school that supports fellows in refining their business strategies
• A scholarship to attend a one-week INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme pending admission based on INSEAD’s eligibility criteria and selection process.
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SOCIAL CAPITAL SUPPORT
Throughout the programme, 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
To apply to the Regional Awards, you need to complete the online application form and provide the supporting documentation listed below.
• Your resume
• Your business registration document
• Your pitch deck: we are not looking for a specific format, just submit an existing pitch deck that accurately describes the impact of your business. This can be an investor presentation or a product presentation (no more than 15 pages max.).
• A one-minute video of yourself in which you answer the following questions:
– What is your motivation behind solving the problem that you have identified?
– What is the impact you wish to create through your solution?
– What do you wish to gain/contribute to the Cartier Women’s Initiative community?
• 3 additional attachments of your choice: image of product, brochure, press, article, research, etc.
These documents must be submitted on the online portal in the “Attachments” section and cannot be sent separately by email.
The Jury evaluates the applications based on the following criteria:
• Market analysis & fit
• Financial & business model sustainability
• Leadership team & character of founder
• Strategy & execution
• Embedded positive social impact
• Commitment to Cartier Women’s Initiative
• Quality of submission
The selection process is divided into two rounds: the finalists’ selection and the laureates’ selection.
• Round 1: The jury selects 21 finalists, the top three applicants of each region (Latin America & the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, East Asia, South Asia & Oceania), on the basis of their application form.
• Round 2: The finalists are invited to the final round, which includes submitting further business information and presenting their business in front of their regional jury panel during the preparatory training week. Based on the selection criteria, one laureate for each of the seven regions is selected. The announcement of the 7 laureates for the Regional Awards, along with the laureate for the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, will take place during the Awards Ceremony.
Application Deadline: 31st July, 2020.