So the annual Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards have drawn to a close, but it sure left us feeling more inspired than ever. Through engagement and empowerment, the 2017 awards celebrated women entrepreneurs under the theme “Transform. Lead the change you want to see.”.
The six laureates that received the accolades are:
Trupti Jain for Asia Pacific. Naireeta Services specialising in handmade water management solutions and waterlogging services for farmers in times of drought or flood. Small farmers can now take preventions against extreme weather conditions for their crops. She tells HerWorldPlus how to change difficult mindsets along the course of her entrepreneurship through ‘patience, commitment and sincerity’.
Sara-Kristina Hannig Nour for Middle East and North Africa. Sara and Lara’s Baskets promotes organic agriculture in Egypt, delivering weekly organic products directly to their customers in Egypt’s largest cities. She advises, “If you have an idea, be passionate about it,” to anyone wanting to start a business.
Salma Abdulai for Sub-Saharan Africa. Unique Quality Product works with local farmers, particularly women, in sustainable agriculture through the production of Fonio. She revealed to HerWorldPlus in our video interview, “I meditate. Whenever I have a setback, I sit down and reflect because if there’s anyone that is going to stop me, it’s going to be me”.
Ciara Donlon for Europe. Theya Healthcare produces post-surgery undergarments made of an innovative material that is sourced from bamboo that aids in healing. She reminds aspiring HerWorldPlus readers how important it is to stay resilient, “If you have a dream, follow it and never give up, regardless of what you’re told”.
Katie Anderson for North America. Save Water & Co. aims at reducing water wastage in commercial establishments and cluster family properties by employing data analytics to increase process efficiency through water conservation. She reveals, “when I’m in an environment that I’m loved, it refills my energy and I’m inspired to go out and do it again”.
Candice Pascoal for Latin America. Kickante focuses on connecting campaigns to donors, closing the gap for crowdfunding campaign. Her advice to everyone is that “every single step that you take, you are building a brand for yourself”.
Watch what they have to say about how they overcame challenges and what advice do they have for all aspiring entrepreneurs out there.
Held for the first time in Singapore, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition that first started in 2006, in partnership with INSEAD business school and business consultancy McKinsey. The concept behind it is to identify, support and encourage projects with a social impact that drives change, empowering women entrepreneur from all around the world.
Housed within the grandeur Victoria Theatre, it was truly an inspiring evening filled with motivated individuals. Presented by Sandi Toksvig, the UK broadcaster famed for promoting gender equality in politics and society and a keynote speech given by Eunice Olsen, a former nominated MP and proud advocator of female empowerment.
Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International, says “Since its inception in 2006 and in less than a decade, the programme has become a transformative step in the lives of 162 women entrepreneurs in over 45 countries, creating over 5000 jobs.” Often, the businesses of the participants were born out of contemporary challenges they face, each with a story to tell and inspire others. He goes on to add, “The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards reward and help the laureates with financial resources, mentoring support and a network in order to make their ideas and dream come true, feet on the earth and heads in the stars. I am happy and proud to develop these Initiative Awards, to encourage and support these great women to be the drivers of change.”
In addition, the six laureates received US$100 000 in prize money, a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme (ISEP). All of which will support the businesses further, allowing them to continuously do good for the society.
Till date, 12,900 women worldwide have applied, with 166 businesses from 46 counties. As the 2017 awards draw to an end, the synergy leaves the audiences mighty motivated and inspired. Let this be a start to a new chapter and an encouragement to anyone struggling or faced with obstacles that feels almost impossible to overcome.