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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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Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/31/20 2:00 PM Paris Time (CEST)


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Awards and in-kind support to USA, Canada, and International female entrepreneurs from any sector in recognition of their achievements and to provide support for greater business success. The award program identifies, encourages, and supports women-led or women-run businesses, providing the necessary financial, social, and human capital support to grow the businesses and strengthen leadership skills.

The award is designed for early-stage women entrepreneurs with business initiatives that demonstrate significant growth potential. Projects must show notable sustainability, creativity, and social impact. 

The program is open to women-run and women-owned businesses from any country and sector that aim to have a strong and sustainable social and environmental impact as defined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Fellowship is an educational program geared towards the 21 fellows selected each year as part of the Awards program. The program aims to equip them with the necessary skills to grow their business and to build their leadership capacity by drawing upon the experience and expertise of a vast array of academics, practitioners, industry experts and entrepreneurs. It is comprised of a two-month virtual 1:1 coaching program, a 3-day in-person preparatory training, and a weeklong knowledge-building academic track in partnership with the INSEAD Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151419

Number of Grants:

21: 7 laureates and 14 second and third place finalists.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- The 7 laureates (top business from each region) will receive US$ 100,000 in prize money.
- The 14 finalists (2nd and 3rd runners-up businesses from each region) will receive US$ 30,000 in prize money.

The 7 laureates and 14 finalists will also benefit from financial advisory services, 1:1 strategy coaching, media visibility, and international networking opportunities, as well as a place on an INSEAD executive education program.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

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 2021 edition, the Funding Source is looking for businesses that have been registered between August 2015 and August 2019. 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). See:
- 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.
- 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. This level requires an understanding of the main ideas of complex text, technical discussion in business and applicant's field of specialization and an ability to interact with fluency and spontaneity with native speakers.
- Time commitment: 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.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Register for the upcoming session:

Jun 10, 2020 03:00 PM in Paris

June 18 , 2020, 4:00 PM in Paris

July 2, 2020 at 10:00 Am in Paris

Pre-Application Information:

The Call for Applications will open on June 4, 2020, and will close on July 31, 2020.

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 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.

- Round 2: The finalists are invited to the final round,n 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 will take place during the Awards Ceremony.

Participants may only submit one business.


About the Fellowship program:


About the Cartier Women's Initiative:

About the UN Sustainable Development Goals:

Watch an 'Ask me Anything' session:

Contact Information:

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


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.

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