In 2006, the iconic jewelry house Cartier, launched their first ever Women's Initiative, a global competition that supports female-owned businesses that are making a positive social impact. Since its launch, the program has become one of the leading female entrepreneurial initiatives across the globe: More than $3 million has been awarded, helping more than 240 female-driven businesses and contributing to more than 7,000 new jobs.
Today, a new batch of winners have been announced. Seven bright women—one from each region of the globe—were chosen from 1,200 applications. The leading seven ladies will each receive $100,000, but the benefits of the CWI are not solely restricted to the top prizewinners; each of the 14 runners-up will receive a $30,000 investment, and all 21 finalists will gain mentoring and network opportunities to help with business development.
Below, we highlight the seven awe-inspiring women whose businesses stood apart this year:
- Stephanie Benedetto, New York – On a mission to solve the worlds water crisis, Bendetto created Queen of Raw, which provides a sustainable alternative to destroying excess fabrics, by providing an online platform for business to buy and sell unused textiles.
- Adriana Luna Diaz, Mexico – Working to make agriculture a safer and healthier industry, Diaz's company, Tierra de Monte, aims to make all food organic; the technology, based in bacteria and fungi, helps with plant and soil fertility.
- Chunguang (Charlotte) Wang, China – Recognizing the urgency of the climate crisis, Equota Energy, is a software company that helps steel and chemical plants gather data about their energy consumption and helps formulate environmentally friendly alternatives.
- Joanne Howarth, Australia – By 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Howarth's company, Planet Protector Packaging, created an environmentally-friendly alternative to polystyrene (a common kind of insulation) out of wool.
- Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen, Denmark – At 25 years old, Hartvigsen and her business partner are the co-founders of Female Invest, which teaches women how to save and invest and to financially plan for the future.
- Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Nigeria – Since its launch four years ago, Life Bank has saved about 7,000 lives. Working to combat postpartum hemorrhage, the business helps hospitals secure essential medical supplies they need quickly in order to save lives.
- Nadia Gamal El Din, Egypt – Rahet Bally, which translates to 'peace of mind' in Arabic, started as a facebook group where new moms could get responses from doctors instantly. Now, it has a physical location, where psychiatric support for postpartum women, gyms, and care-taking services are available.
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