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Awards to USA, Canada, and International Women
Entrepreneurs in Recognition of Innovative Business Activities

Cartier Women's Initiative (CWI) - Science and Technology Pioneer Award

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/30/22 2:00 PM Central European Summer Time (CEST)


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Awards to USA, Canada, and International women entrepreneurs in recognition of innovative business activities. The purpose of the award is to honor entrepreneurs in the technology and science fields and to support their ongoing efforts. Award recipients will be given financial support, human support, including training and workshops, and social support, including networking opportunities.

This award is especially dedicated to recognizing women impact entrepreneurs at the forefront of scientific and technological innovation. Open to women entrepreneurs from any country and sector, this award highlights disruptive solutions built around unique, protected, or hard-to-reproduce technological or scientific advances that require heavy R&D, a long commercialization cycle, high capital intensity, technology risk, and complexity. 

The fellowship program aims to equip fellows with the necessary skills to grow their business and to build their leadership capacity by drawing upon the experience and expertise of academics, practitioners, industry experts, and entrepreneurs and by enabling peer learning.

Human Capital Support:

The fellowship program focuses on several key areas of human capital support for women impact entrepreneurs and offers a combination of 1:1 training and collective workshops.

  • 1:1 training in financials, storytelling, impact measurement, etc.
  • 1:1 advice sessions with subject matter experts in the Cartier Women's Initiative community
  • Community peer learning sessions
  • Online and in-person leadership communications and media training workshops
  • Online knowledge sessions, group coaching, and in-person INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program and/or INSEAD Executive Education Program (pending admission based on INSEAD’s eligibility criteria and selection process)
  • 1:1 leadership capacity executive coaching by The Coaching Fellowship

Social Capital Support:

Throughout the program, Cartier Women's Initiative strives to highlight the social and environmental impact created by their fellows and bridge connections between women impact entrepreneurs and their supporters.

  • International exposure and media visibility
  • Access to an online and offline community of 500+ experts and peers
  • Ongoing support for the development of the fellows’ businesses

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 203490

Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- US$ 100,000 grant for each first-place awardee
- US$ 60,000 grant for each second-place awardee
- US$ 30,000 grant for each third-place awardee

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Science & Technology Pioneer Award of the Cartier Women’s Initiative is looking for women-run and women-owned impact-driven businesses. Entrepreneurs across all sectors and geographies are encouraged to apply.

To be considered for the Science & Technology Pioneer Award, the applicant and her business must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Technological & scientific innovation: The business should be based on the development of a new technology, a complex engineering process, or a scientific discovery, and not only on a disruptive business model. Development of the technology and product, from idea (TRL 1)* to commercialization (TRL 9)*, should take at least 2 years.
* Technology readiness levels (TRLs) are commonly used to estimate the maturity of technologies. The framework enables consistent, uniform discussions of technical maturity across different types of technology. The detailed framework can be found here:
- For-profit: The business should be designed to generate sufficient revenue to support its operations and return some level of profit to its owners. Non-profit enterprises are not eligible.
- Early-stage: The business should be in the initial phase of its development or growth. It must have at least a proof of concept, a prototype, or be in the process of producing one (minimum TRL 4) and must not have been commercializing its final product/service for more than 5 years.
- Positive impact: The business should demonstrate the potential to have a strong positive impact in its industry. It should contribute to at least one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are a collection of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030. The SDGs are a call for action by all countries to promote prosperity while protecting the environment. They cover a series of social, economic, and environmental development issues.
- Leadership: The applicant must be a woman and she must fill one of the main leadership positions, for example as CEO, COO, CTO, General Manager, or Managing Director of the business.
- Ownership: The business must be majority owned by its founders and team members at the time of application. The applicant must be part of the founding team. Moreover, at least one of the business’s founders must be a woman and a woman and/or multiple women must be the largest shareholder(s) of founder equity (not total equity) in the business or own a share at least equal to that of her/their male co-founder(s).
- Legal entry age: The applicant must be at least 18 years of age on the day of the application deadline (June 30, 2022).
- English proficiency: A good command of the English language is required (both verbal and written). The Common European Framework of Reference Level B2 or above is required. This level requires an understanding of the main ideas of complex text, technical discussion in business and your field of specialization, and an ability to interact with fluency and spontaneity with native speakers. English proficiency is important because this is the common language for the Cartier Women's Initiative team, its partners, the jury members and the overall community. Being proficient will allow the fellow to fully participate in the community and in the fellowship.
- Time commitment: The applicant must commit to participating in the fellowship program from January 2023 to December 2023. She will be expected to dedicate up to 4 hours/week virtually to the program from January 2023 to May 2023 and up to 2 hours/week virtually from June 2023 to December 2023. In addition to the virtual training, the applicant will also be expected to attend one week of in-person training in May 2023. Beyond the fellowship, there are also two days of on-site filming of the fellow and her business in the first quarter of 2023.

Businesses that have formerly participated in the program are not eligible to apply to the Cartier Women’s Initiative a second time and will be automatically rejected. Furthermore, any cofounder of a business that has formerly participated in the program is also ineligible.

For additional eligibility information, see FAQs, in Pre-Application Information, below.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information session:
June 7, 2022, 9 AM CEST
Any questions about the Science & Technology Pioneer Award? Join this online Ask Me Anything session to learn more about the application and selection process, and ask anything you want to know about the Cartier Women's Initiative.

Applicant Workshop:
June 14, 2022, 10 AM CEST
What problem is your business solving? How do you measure the breadth and depth of your impact? This workshop will clarify the impact concepts used in the application form and answer any questions you may have.

Applicant Workshop:
June 15, 2022, 5 PM CEST

Information Session:
June 15, 2022, 6:30 PM CEST

Pre-Application Information:

The call for applications for the 2023 edition is now open and will close on Thursday, June 30, 2022, 2 p.m. Central European Summer Time (CEST).

Once you submit your application on the online platform, you will receive an automatic confirmation email.

Applicants will be notified of their application status in January 2023. The fellows will then be announced in April 2023.

The selection process is divided into two rounds: the selection of the fellows and the ranking of the fellows to determine the first-place, second-place, and third-place awardees.
- Round 1: The jury selects three fellows on the basis of their application form.
- Round 2: The fellows are invited to the final round, which includes submitting further business information and presenting their business in front of the jury panel. The announcement of the first-place, second-place, and third-place awardees for the Science & Technology Pioneer Award will take place during the Awards Ceremony.

About the Fellowship Program:


Fellowship Timeline:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Cartier Women's Initiative
33 Rue Boissy d'Anglas
75008 Paris

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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