Cartier Women’s Initiative Award open, apply now

If you believe you have it in you to become a successful business woman in the UAE with the aim to make a financial and social impact, now is the time to be recognized for your initial work and effort.

Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2014 application process is now open until the 28th of February. The awards are open to women entrepreneurs with projects in initial stages of development in any country, of any nationality and operating in any industry.

These Awards are an international business plan competition created in 2006 by Cartier, the Women's Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs.

The mission of the Cartier Women's Initiative Awards is threefold. Firstly, to identify and support initial-phase women entrepreneurs through funding and coaching; secondly, to foster the spirit of enterprise by celebrating role models in entrepreneurship and thirdly, to create an international network of women entrepreneurs and encourage peer networking.

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards aim to encourage the most vulnerable category of entrepreneurs in their most vulnerable phase: women entrepreneurs starting up. Since their inception in 2006, they have accompanied over 100 promising female business-owners and recognized 32 Laureates.

And, women from the UAE and the region have won this prestigious award in the past. Iba Masood, a graduate of American University of Sharjah (AUS), won the Cartier Women's Initiative Award 2012 as the laureate for the Middle East and North Africa. Masood, after interning at GE and McKinsey & Company, founded startup careers portal Gradberry, aimed as a hub for student internships and jobs for new graduates in the Middle East.

Then, last year, Sima Najjar, from Jordan, founder of “Ekeif.com” project, was one of the winners for 2013 from the MENA region.

Those interested can go to www.cartierwomensinitiative.com and apply online. If you meet the following criteria, you are welcome to submit your application to be duly recognized.

The project to be considered for the Awards must be an original for-profit business creation in the initial phase (1-3 years old) led by a woman.
 
The business submitted for the Award must be designed to generate revenues. Non-profit project proposals are not accepted.
 
Your project should be a new concept, conceived and imagined by the founder and her team and not a copy or subsidiary of an existing business.

The project submitted should be in the first stages of its development with one year of operations and sales to account for but no older than 3 years. The ‘age’ of the company will not be measured solely on the basis of the date of incorporation. The development and size of the company will also be taken into account.

The main leadership position must be filled by a woman. A good command of English is required (both verbal and written) to take full advantage of the benefits the Award has to offer.
 
All entrants must be aged 18 or the age of legal majority in their respective countries or states of citizenship, whichever is older, on the day of the application deadline.

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