INSEAD, Cartier and McKinsey announce the laureates for the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards 2017

The Awards ceremony took place in Asia for the very first time

Middle East, Asia, Europe
13 April 2017

INSEAD joined Cartier and McKinsey & Company to announce today the six laureates of the 2017 edition of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards held at the historical Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall in the heart of Singapore.  

In a spirit of engagement and empowerment, the 2017 ceremony celebrated women entrepreneurs under the theme “Transform. Lead the change you want to see”, and brought together speakers and change makers passionate about women’s vision and values.

Presented by Sandi Toksvig, the UK broadcaster famed for promoting gender equality in politics and society, the 2017 ceremony set the tone with a keynote speech by Eunice Olsen, celebrated Singaporean TV personality and tireless champion of women’s empowerment.

During a panel discussion, INSEAD Dean Ilian Mihov and Cartier CEO Cyrille Vigneron keenly exchanged with entrepreneurs Privahini Bradoo and Rosaline Chow Koo about their experiences at corporate and start up level.

Cyrille Vigneron and Ilian Mihov announced the six laureates selected by an independent international jury amongst nearly 1900 applicants from over 120 countries.

From left: Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean and Professor of Economics; Candice Pascoal (Brazil), KICKANTE; Ciara Donlon (Ireland), THEYA HEALTHCARE; Katie Anderson (USA), SAVE WATER & Co; Trupti Jain (India), NAIREETA SERVICES; Salma Abdulai (Ghana), UNIQUE QUALITY PRODUCT; Sara-Kristina Hannig Nour (Egypt), SARA AND LARA’S BASKETS; and Cyrille Vigneron, CARTIER CEO.

Candice Pascoal, Brazil 
Kickante addresses the lack of crowdfunding platform in Brazil by connecting campaign creators to donors. 


Katie Anderson, USA 
Save Water & Co aims to fight high wastage of water in commercial establishments and multi-family properties by using data analytics to improve business processes through water conversation.  


Ciara Donlon, Ireland
Theya Healthcare offers post-surgery undergarments for women, made of an innovative sourced from bamboo that is more absorbent and more bacterial resistant than other materials. 


Salma Abdulai, Ghana 
Unique Quality Product works with farmers, particularly women, in producing and processing of Fonio. The company was formed with an idea of creating sustainable livelihoods for women farmers whose lands are degraded due to its excessive usage and creating a land management system. This innovation has led to sustainable food and fodder security, agroforestry and nutrition. 


Sara-Kristina Hannig Nour, Egypt 
Sara and Lara’s Baskets tackles the lack of organic food options in Egypt by delivering weekly shipments of organic products directly to customers in Egypt’s largest cities.  


Trupti Jain, India 
Naireeta Services addresses the issues of drought and flash floods destroying farmers’ crops. It provides handmade water management solutions enabling small farmers to filter and store rainwater in the underground to become independent from extreme weather conditions and dry periods. 

Congratulations to the laureates and finalists. They are truly inspirational to women worldwide with their exceptional talent and passion toward their businesses,” said Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean and Professor of Economics. “INSEAD is pleased to have supported the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for the past 11 years, which have generated substantial business and social impact. We look forward to our continued partnership with Cartier to nurture women entrepreneurs around the world.”

Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International, led the audience in applause to recognise the laureates and spoke on the impact of this years’ award: “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. 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 to receiving a year of personalised mentoring, valuable media visibility and expanding networking opportunities, each laureate competing in the current edition will be granted a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme  (ISEP). This year, the prize money awarded to each laureate’s business has been increased fivefold from US$ 20,000 to US$ 100,000 in recognition of their contribution to finding innovative solutions for a sustainable future.

Founded in 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are open to women-run, for-profit businesses in any country and sector working to create strong social impact. Since their creation, 12,900 women from around the world have applied, 166 businesses from 46 countries have been supported by over 200 jury members and coaches.

Discover the laureates’ profiles on

For more information on the programme and video footage of the laureates, please visit:

About Cartier
Founded in 1847, Cartier is one of the world’s most esteemed houses of luxury, designing and manufacturing exclusive collections of fine jewelry, wristwatches and prestige accessories, distributed through close to 300 Cartier boutiques worldwide.
Contact for press:
Cartier International Press Relations
Tel: +33 (0)6 34 59 64 38

About McKinsey & Company
McKinsey & Company is a global management consulting firm, deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. For over eight decades, McKinsey’s primary objective has been to serve as its clients’ most trusted external advisor. With consultants in more than 100 offices in over 60 countries, across industries and functions, McKinsey brings unparalleled expertise to clients anywhere in the world. It works closely with teams at all levels of an organization to shape winning strategies, mobilize for change, build capabilities and drive successful execution. 

About INSEAD, The Business School for the World

As one of the world’s leading and largest graduate business schools, INSEAD brings together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society. Our research, teaching and partnerships reflect this global perspective and cultural diversity.

With locations in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore), the Middle East (Abu Dhabi), and now North America (San Francisco), INSEAD's business education and research spans four regions. Our 165 renowned Faculty members from 41 countries inspire more than 1,300 degree participants annually in our MBA, Global Executive MBA, Specialised Master’s degrees (Executive Master in Finance and Executive Master in Change) and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD Executive Education programmes each year.

INSEAD continues to conduct cutting-edge research and innovate across all our programmes. We provide business leaders with the knowledge and awareness to operate anywhere. Our core values drive academic excellence and serve the global community as The Business School for the World.

Contacts for press

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Ilan Goren
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Cheryl Ng
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