Cartier Awards churns out women leaders

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ALKESH SHARMA / Emirates Business

Female entrepreneurs considerably identify importance of business networks to build contacts, gain resources and reduce isolation prior to business plan validation while 5,200 new jobs have been created by the women-led businesses the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards have supported in the last few years.
These morale-boosting findings were put on table by the Abu Dhabi-based Insead Business School in its review of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Insead, one of the top-notch Business School of the world, had presented these conclusions at the recently-concluded Global Women’s Forum in Dubai. The school studied the impact that Cartier’s landmark entrepreneurship scheme has had on the women taking part, reviewing outcomes for their businesses and conducting in-depth surveys to gauge its success.
“We are an integral part of the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards since its founding in 2006. Assessing their impact over a decade reveals the true achievement of the programme and the immense value it has created for a generation of women leaders,” said Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD. Nearly 14 percent of the applications in 2015 were from the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region and 18 percent finalists were from UAE during the period of 2007-2015.
A decade after being launched, the track record of the Cartier Awards is impressive. 162 finalists have participated, representing 148 enterprises from 45 countries in all parts of the world. After a decade, more than 80 percent of the enterprises which reached the finals of the Cartier Awards remain active, a percentage far higher than normal rate of entrepreneurship start up success.
It is estimated that these enterprises have generated over 5,000 jobs, and contributed to lives and communities by creating a new breed of role models.
“By coaching, mentoring and applying business frameworks to the ideas and aspirations of the female contestants, our world-class faculty, talented alumni play a valued role in the programme, not only at the selection stage but in sharing their expertise and experience with finalists and laureates alike,” pointed out Mihov.
Applications have grown from 360 in 2007 to 1,800 last year when 18 finalists from six regions were selected to participate in a unique programme of coaching. “Since its launch in 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is promoting and supporting women as entrepreneurs and to help them launch new companies, spur innovation and create new jobs,” said Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO, Cartier International.
Kresse Wesling, Laureate 2011 for Europe, said, “The experience of the awards was not only great for our business, it was life changing for us in the sense that we realised what we could do, what others were doing, and our vision was certainly made much broader.”

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