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Cartier Women's Initiative Awards

Awards to USA, Canada, and International Early Stage Women
Entrepreneurs to Encourage Outstanding Business Initiatives

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Deadline Date:

08/14/19 2:00 PM Paris Time (CEST)


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Awards and in-kind support to USA, Canada, and International early stage women entrepreneurs with business initiatives that demonstrate significant growth potential. Projects must show notable sustainability, creativity, and social impact. Awards are intended to identify, encourage, and support projects related to any industry that are led by women entrepreneurs.

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards aim to encourage inspirational women entrepreneurs worldwide to solve contemporary global challenges by:

- Supporting and recognizing creative women who are making concrete contributions to finding solutions for the future of the planet; and
- Bringing these business solutions to the largest audience possible.

The 21 finalists, representing the top 3 businesses from each of the 7 regions, 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 and international press during the Awards Week

In addition to the prize money, the 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 and/or mentoring for a year following the Awards Week to support the further growth and development of the business

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151419

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- 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.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Businesses led by women entrepreneurs, in the initial stages of their development and growth operating in any country and industry are welcome to apply.

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). For the 2020 edition, the Funding Source is looking for businesses that have been incorporated between August 2014 and August 2018. Moreover, it will be 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.
- Impact: The business should meet at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- 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). The Common European Framework of Reference Level B2 and above is required.
- 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).


- Submissions may only be entered by individuals ; no teams will be accepted.
- Former CWIA finalists and laureates are not authorized to apply to the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards a second time and will be automatically rejected.
- Any CWIA employees and/or family members of employees, or employees and/or family members of employees of its partners McKinsey & Company and INSEAD or any promotional or advertising agencies involved in the Awards, are not eligible to enter the Awards.

Pre-Application Information:

The Call for Applications will open on June 11, 2019, and will close on August 14, 2019, at 2:00 PM (CEST).

Registration and submissions will be made on-line on the application website. Registration forms sent by postal mail will not be accepted.

The Selection Process is divided into two rounds - the finalists' selection and the laureates' selection - as follows:

- Round 1: The jury selects 21 finalists, the top three projects 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. They receive coaching from experienced business people to move to the next round.
- Round 2: The finalists are invited to the final round of the competition which includes submitting a business plan and presenting their projects in front of the Jury during the Cartier Awards Week. Based on the quality of the plan and the persuasiveness of the verbal presentation, one laureate for each of the seven regions is selected. The announcement of the laureates takes place during the Awards Ceremony in May 2020.

Participants may only submit one Project. Multiple projects will not be accepted.


About the Coaching Program:


About the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Cartier Women's Initiative
33 Rue Boissy d'Anglas
75008 Paris

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.