Cartier Women's Initiative Awards's Logo
World Map

Cartier Women's Initiative Awards The Cartier Awards is a business plan competition for start-ups led by women organized by Cartier in partnership with McKinsey, INSEAD business school and the Women’s Forum. It aims at supporting creative, financially sustainable and responsible women-led start-ups, in all countries and industries. The winners receive a year of coaching, US$20,000 in funding, valuable networking opportunities as well as media exposure.

Mentorship programs or network



The CARTIER WOMEN'S INITIATIVE AWARDS is 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 led by women entrepreneurs. Six women entrepreneurs, one Laureate per continent (Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & North Africa, Latin America and North America) are awarded every year.

The annual competition involves two rounds:
First Round - The jury selects 18 finalists, the top three projects of each region on the basis of their application. They receive coaching from experienced business experts to move to the next round.
Second Round - The finalists are invited to France for the final round of the competition which includes submitting a detailed business plan and pitching their projects in front of the Jury. They are also invited to attend the Annual Global Meeting of the Women's Forum.

The six Laureates receive:
- The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards trophy.
- 20,000 USD to fund their company, offered by Cartier.
- A full year of coaching offered by professionals from Cartier, INSEAD and McKinsey & Company.
- Media exposure provided by Cartier.
- Networking opportunities.

Coaches are experienced and senior-level business experts from McKinsey, Cartier or
INSEAD alumni who commit on a voluntary basis. They bring their individual experience and
know-how to the table to guide the finalists in the preparation of the 2nd round of the competition and then assist the Laureates with the essentials of growing a business and keeping it thriving.

Six regional Jury panels are in charge of evaluating the candidates’ businesses.
The Jury for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is composed of high-profile individuals, chosen on the basis of their entrepreneurial experience, their business achievements and their commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs. The Jury’s involvement is long-term and voluntary.

The Jury evaluates the businesses based on the following criteria:
- Creativity: the degree of innovation shown by the overall business concept.
- Financial sustainability and scalability: the financial viability of the business, indicating chances of long-term success.
- Impact: the effect on society of the business in terms of jobs created or its effect on the immediate or broader environment and community.
- The overall quality and clarity of the material presented.

To apply for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, candidates must fill out an online application form at, during the application period.

Eligibility criteria
Businesses to be considered for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards must be:
- For-profit.
- In the start-up phase (between one and three years of operations).
- Led by a woman.
The competition is open to women from any age, country, nationality and industry.



supporting ventures in these regions