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Cartier Women’s Initiative Regional & Science & Technology Pioneer Awards 2021


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

In addition to the 7 existing Regional Awards, the initiative has launched the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, a new thematic category for the 2021 edition that aims to support women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation.

THEIR VISION Their vision is a world in which every woman impact entrepreneur driving social change can achieve her full potential.

THEIR MISSION Their mission is to shine a light on women impact entrepreneurs and provide them with the necessary financial, social and human capital support to grow their business and build their leadership skills.


Regional Awards:

  • Every year, the Regional Awards recognise 21 talented women impact entrepreneurs who are leveraging business as a force for good.

  • These women hail from seven regions across the globe: Latin America & the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East & North Africa, East Asia and South Asia & Oceania.

  • Three finalists are selected per region during the first round of evaluation and one laureate is selected per region during the second round of evaluation.

  • Each of the 7 laureates is awarded US$ 100,000 in grant whereas each of the14 remaining finalists (second and third runner-up for each region) receives US$ 30,000 in a grant.

Science & Technology Pioneer Award:

  • As of the 2021 edition, three more women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation will be recognised for this new thematic award.

  • Open to women entrepreneurs from any country and sector, this award will highlight disruptive solutions built around unique, protected, or hard-to-reproduce technological or scientific advances.

  • The laureate will be awarded US$ 100,000 in grant whereas each of the two remaining finalists will receive US$ 30,000 in grant.



• US$ 100,000 grant (top business )

• US$ 30,000 grant (2nd and 3rd runner-up )


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 mindset’ 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


Throughout the programme, they strive to highlight the social and environmental impact created by their 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

• Recognition by Hello Tomorrow as Deep Tech Pioneers, a label which grants fellows exclusive access to industry experts, investors and corporate partners at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit


To be considered for the Award, 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.

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. Please note that businesses that have not raised any external funding are also welcome to apply.

• Early-stage: The business should be in the initial phase of its development or growth. It must have at least a proof of concept, a prototype, or be in the process of producing one (minimum TRL 4) and must not be commercialising its final product/service for more than 5 years. Moreover, we are focused on companies that are majority-owned by founders and employees at the time of application.

• Impact: The business should demonstrate the potential to have a strong impact on its industry. It 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 co-founder(s).

• Legal entry age: The lead entrant must be 18 on the day of the application deadline.

• 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 and 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.

• Time commitment: The applicant must commit to participating in the fellowship programme from February 2021 to November 2021. She will be expected to dedicate up to 4 hours/week virtually to the programme from January 2021 to May 2021 and up to 2 hours/week virtually from June 2021 to November 2021. In addition to the virtual programming, the applicant will also be expected to attend two weeks of in-person training: one week from May 21st to May 28th 2021 and one week in November 2021.


  •  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?




" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al