Cartier Honours Enterprising Women for their Impact on the World through Business

Awardees of the 2024 Cartier Women's Initiative hailing from Africa, the Middle East and India were revealed during the annual ceremony in Shenzhen, China and YourLuxury Africa attended to witness the occasion

By Your Luxury

Thirty three female entrepreneurs from across the world including three from the Middle East and North Africa region, three from India and six from East, West and Sub Saharan Africa were recognised at the annual Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards for the positive impact they create through their businesses.

Since its inception in 2006, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has expanded to encompass 11 categories, including 9 regional awards and 2 thematic awards: the “Science & Technology Pioneer Award” launched in 2021, and the “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award” introduced in 2023. For these categories, a distinguished jury selects the top three applicants, awarding 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place $100,000, $60,000, and $30,000 in grant funding respectively.

Beyond the financial rewards, these awardees join the Fellows community. This affiliation grants them access to tailored mentoring and coaching, media visibility, networking opportunities and education courses from the leading business school INSEAD, further empowering them on their entrepreneurial journey. This year’s Cartier Women’s Initiative theme, “Forces for Good”, mirrors the program’s ambition to broaden its reach and foster a more just and equitable world. It emphasizes the importance of collective action to deliver change, for good.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony, hosted by writer and gender equality champion, Sandi Toksvig, opened with an evocative performance by the dance department of the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music. By echoing this year’s theme of the Cartier Women’s Initiative, the ensemble provided a poignant reflection on the power of unity. 

The dance department of the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music

The culturally important and architecturally striking Bay Opera in Shenzhen, considered to be China’s Silicon Valley, was filled with distinguished leaders, heads of nonprofit organizations, and representatives from international bodies. The evening progressed with a conversation with Cyrille Vigneron, CEO and President of Cartier, who pointed out how proud the Maison is to continue supporting this vibrant community of changemakers to multiply its collective impact and reaffirmed Cartier’s deep conviction that when women thrive, humanity thrives.

Guests of honour_ Karlie Kloss, supermodel, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, alongside Guo Jingjing, Olympic diving champion, advocate for public welfare and environmental protection and ceremony host

The ceremony also welcomed esteemed guests of honor: Karlie Kloss, supermodel, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, alongside Guo Jingjing, Olympic diving champion, advocate for public welfare and environmental protection. As catalysts for change, they discussed their perspectives on gender equality and emphasised the significance of inclusion for everyone to be empowered to realise their potential.

Sophie Doireau, CEO of Cartier Middle East, India, Africa and Türkiye, said: “Our region is home to an incredible wealth of diverse entrepreneurial talent, and the applications we receive from dynamic women-founded small businesses are always impressive. I am delighted to welcome this new cohort of regional fellows to the close-knit Cartier Women’s Initiative community. Each of the fellows selected is unique in her own way, and all are passionate about leveraging businesses as a force for good. They are collectively transforming the sectors they operate in and creating lasting impact in their communities; I can’t wait to see what they will achieve as part of the Initiative.”

Three fellows were awarded in the Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa category: Victoria Munguti, founder of Heptapay in Rwanda, an app which facilitates low-cost international remittances into mobile money wallets in East Africa in under one minute, Jessica Long, founder of MAAD, which connects brands with small retailers in Senegal through an e-commerce platform, consolidating demand to increase small retailers’ collective purchasing power and access to financial services, and Isabelle Kamariza, founder ofSolid’Africa, which provides nutritious meals to patients in Rwandan public hospitals through a farm-to-fork approach and a culinary arts schools.

Isabelle Kamariza, founder of Solid’Africa, which provides nutritious meals to patients in Rwandan public hospitals
Fellows awarded in the Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa and Anglophone and Lusophone Africa

Meanwhile recognised in the Anglophone and Lusophone Africa category was Tutilope Adewusi, founder of 9ijakids, which offers affordable online educational games to supplement primary education in Nigeria, Claire van Enk, founder of Farm to Feed, which tackles food insecurity by buying surplus produce to support smallholder farmers and providing affordable food to vulnerable community and Jane Muchuku, founder of Plumbee, a food processing company that partners with rural female farmers and low-income women to provide underserved children with nutritious food. 

In the Middle East and North Africa category, the following fellows were honoured: Salma Bougarrani from Morocco founder of Green Watech, which provides a soil-based filter system that treats domestic wastewater in rural communities so that it can be reused for agricultural irrigation. Rania Gaafar, founder of ADVA, a company based in Egypt which helps self-employed and unbanked people get financing quickly by connecting them to financing institutions offering low-interest rate loans and Shahira Yahia, founder of Chitosan in Egypt, who empowers smallholder farmers to participate in the organic market and achieve higher income through new agricultural practices.

In addition, three Indian entrepreneurs were successful in this year’s edition. The South Asia and Central Asia category: Ira Guha, founder of Asan, which aims to address “period poverty” with a reusable menstrual cup, and Mansi Jain, founder of DigitalPaani, which aims to build digital management tools that protect natural water resources from contamination and accelerate the transition to clean cities with abundant water and in The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category: Akshita Sachdeva, founder of Trestle Labs, which provides visually impaired people with access to education and employment through the Kibo device and app was celebrated. 

The celebration offered a moment to explore the inspiring journeys of the 2024 fellows, whose creativity and entrepreneurial spirit combine to address the most crucial social and environmental challenges of our time.


Scheduled for 22 May 2025, on the occasion of the Women’s Pavilion, at the World Expo in Osaka, Kansai, Japan, the 2025 edition of the Cartier Women’s Initiative will honor former fellows whose ventures have successfully developed, showcasing significant, measurable impacts within their fields. This ceremony will recognize nine impact awardees in categories that are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, namely, Improving Lives, Preserving the Planet, and Creating Opportunities.

Through this special edition, dedicated to scaling impact, the Cartier Women’s Initiative intends to underscore the critical importance of long-term commitment for impact-driven enterprises. It will also highlight the key role that substantial financial support ($100,000 per award) and amplified support from the network of fellows play in nurturing their journey.


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