Since 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has helped women impact entrepreneurs to reach their full potential by shinning a light on their achievements and providing them with the necessary financial, social, and human capital support to grow their business and further build their leadership skills. The program is open to women-run and women-owned businesses from any country and sector that aim to have a strong and sustainable positive impact on society as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Sixteen years on, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has supported 298 women impact entrepreneurs hailing from 63 countries and has awarded a total of USD $7,440,000 in grant funding to support their businesses, all driven by a common conviction: Solving the most pressing global challenges.
For the 2023 edition, Cartier is further increasing its commitment by introducing new regional and thematic awards to its outstanding program, while also increasing its grant funding and raising the total number of fellows to 33.
This year’s program features a total of 11 awards, comprised of 9 regional awards, including Oceania and Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa launched this year and 2 thematic awards. Following the successful introduction of the Science and Technology Pioneer Award in 2021, the program has launched for its 2023 edition, a second thematic award, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award which seeks to encourage entrepreneurial solutions to close gaps of access, outcome or opportunities for communities that have been underrepresented or underserved. Unlike other awards, this pilot is open to all genders.
33 fellows, representing the top 3 business for each of the 9 regional awards and for the 2 thematic awards have been selected. For the first time, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has recognized women impact entrepreneurs from Armenia, Bulgaria, Dominican Republic and Singapore.
The twelve fellows selected from the Middle East, Africa and India region are:
• Renad Aljefri from Saudi Arabia, founder of Ad Astra Therapy, an electronic platform that links specialists with families of special-needs children to provide high-quality education and rehabilitation services.
• Farah Emara from Egypt, founder of FreshSource, the MENA region’s first technology-driven agricultural supply platform that is transforming the lives of producers, businesses, and consumers.
• Khadija Elbedweihy from Egypt, founder of PraxiLabs, an e-learning platform that makes immersive virtual science labs accessible, usable, and affordable for educational institutions and schools.
• Yvette Ishimwe from Rwanda, founder of Iriba Water Group, a social enterprise providing safe water access for low-income communities across Africa through climate-smart water solutions.
• Siny Samba from Senegal, founder of Le Lionceau, an agricultural business that specializes in infant nutrition made with local ingredients sourced from sustainable agriculture.
• Bola Bardet from France, founder of Susu, a medtech platform that connects the resources of the African diaspora (Ivory Coast, Cameroon & Senegal) with relatives in need of healthcare services.
• Angella Kyomugisha from Uganda, founder of Kaaro Health, a social enterprise that provides healthcare across rural areas in Africa.
• Dupe Killa-Kafidipe from Nigeria, founder of Platinum Fisheries, an agricultural business that aims to alleviate food scarcity through sustainable production practices.
• Charlot Magayi from Kenya, founder of Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that produces clean, affordable, and reliable cook stoves for families in underserved markets.
• Dimple Parmar from India, founder of Zenheal Wellness Private Limited, an integrative oncology health-tech platform that provides treatment protocols combining a variety of medical therapies.
• Poulami Chaudhuri from India, founder of Helex, a biotech enterprise focusing on making gene editing safe as a solution for high-burden diseases.
• Ishani Roy from India, founder of Serein, a human resources enterprise using science and technology to make the workplace safer and more equitable.
“Women have always had a pivotal role at Cartier, who has actively supported women entrepreneurs for more than 16 years. We are thrilled, this year, to further expand our recognition of changemakers across the world with our two new regional awards and our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award.” said Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International.
Commenting on the announcement, Sophie Doireau, CEO of Cartier for the Middle East, India, Africa and Türkiye, said “We are pleased to welcome three remarkable fellows from the Middle East and North Africa to this year’s edition of the Cartier Women’s Initiative. Each of the selected businesses are transforming the sectors they operate in and creating lasting impact in their communities. We look forward to welcoming them to the program and providing them with the tools to grow their ventures and unlock new opportunities.”
The first-place awardee of each of the 11 awards will be announced during the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony, held on May 10, 2023, in Paris.
Aligned with this year’s theme, Forces for Good, the ceremony will reflect the ambition to evolve the Cartier Women’s Initiative program to drive collaborations and effect change on a systems level. This aligns with Goal 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, “Partnerships for the Goals”, for fostering partnerships and recognizing the power of collaboration.
The first-place awardees will take home USD $100,000 in grant funding, while the second and third-place awardees will receive USD $60,000 and USD $30,000 respectively. To facilitate this, the total grant funding per edition has increased to USD $2 million, its largest amount yet.
In addition to the grant funding, all 33 fellows will also benefit from tailored mentoring and coaching, media visibility, networking opportunities and education courses from the leading business school INSEAD.