Cartier, in partnership with INSEAD, announces 18 finalists for the 2017 Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards

INSEAD and Cartier remain deeply committed to supporting entrepreneurship and creating an impact for women entrepreneurs worldwide

Middle East, Asia, Europe
13 February 2017

INSEAD joined Cartier and McKinsey & Company to announce today the finalists for the 2017 Cartier Womens’s Initiative Awards, an annual business plan competition INSEAD has been in partnership with for the past ten years. The 18 finalists were selected amongst nearly 1,900 applications from over 120 countries.

In this new edition, finalists distinguished themselves by the impact they are making in ensuring food security for the future; leveraging technology to connect communities and empower individuals; enhancing the healthcare and social care systems; and optimising the use of resources towards sustainability.

Since 2006, the INSEAD-Cartier partnership for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards has supported women entrepreneurs leading creative, for-profit start-ups that are financially sustainable and socially impactful. The international competition celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2016 and continues to contribute to the global economy, by seeking out audacious female entrepreneurs who are making concrete contributions to finding effective and affordable solutions for future generations, as well as to encourage more women to achieve their full potential.

Ilian Mihov, INSEAD Dean and Professor of Economics, said: “In 2016, INSEAD and Cartier celebrated our 10-year partnership and the immense value this international competition has brought to the world.  I am pleased that Cartier is bringing the Awards to Asia this year for the first time and honoured to host it on INSEAD Asia campus in Singapore. I believe this will give an increased emphasis to the international dimension of the competition. It also highlights INSEAD’s commitment to fostering social entrepreneurship and further underscores our belief that business is a force for good.” 

Cyrille Vigneron, CEO of Cartier International, said: “Since their inception in 2006 and in less than a decade, the Cartier Awards has grown from attracting 360 to nearly 2000 applications. With a growth in both the quantity and the quality of the businesses applying, the initiative has become a transformative step in the lives of 162 women entrepreneurs in over 45 countries, creating over 5000 jobs. With the Awards, our Maison aims to contribute to women’s empowerment efforts worldwide and thus mirrors Cartier's values: curiosity, audacity, caring for others and willpower to lead the change.”   

INSEAD Asia Campus in Singapore will be hosting the Awards week programme in April this year, including coaching sessions for the finalists with professionals from the INSEAD network and jury evaluation. The laureates will be announced at the international Cartier Awards ceremony on April 12 2017, at the Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore.

The winning package for each of the six Cartier Awards laureates has also been significantly enhanced from previous years: in addition to receiving a year of personalised mentoring, media visibility and networking opportunities, each laureate competing in the current edition will be granted a place on an INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Programme (ISEP). The prize money awarded to each laureate’s business has been increased fivefold from US$ 20,000 to US$ 100,000. Finally, the coaching programme is boosted with additional involvement and participation from INSEAD and will provide an even better match between finalists’ needs and coaches’ expertise as well as improved methods for tracking past finalists businesses.

For more information about the18 finalists, please visit:

For more information on the programme and video footage of the finalists, 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.

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 offers participants a truly global educational experience. With campuses in Europe (France), Asia (Singapore) and Middle East (Abu Dhabi), INSEAD's business education and research spans three continents. Our 145 renowned faculty members from 40 countries inspire more than 1,400 students in our degree and PhD programmes. In addition, more than 11,000 executives participate in INSEAD's executive education programmes each year.

INSEAD’s MBA programme is ranked #1 by the Financial Times in 2016 and 2017.

Contacts for press


Sophie Badré
Tel: +33 1 60 72 45 26

Julia Irrgang
Tel +33 1 60 72 93 34


Sophie Badré
Tel: +33 1 60 72 45 26 

Aileen Huang
Tel: +65 6799 5552

Cheryl Ng
Tel: +65 6407 7234

Middle East

Zeina Sleiman
Tel + 971 2 6515320

Insead Personalised Experience




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