The Cartier Women’s Initiative is back with 21 finalists for 2020

These women are committed to heralding a better future and Cartier is championing the cause once again!
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Image: Cartier

The Cartier Women’s Initiative has long been regarded as one of the world’s most comprehensive and financially rewarding entrepreneurial competitions, since its inception in 2006. And now, the 21 finalists for the year 2020 edition have been announced.

These finalists have been selected amongst 1,200 applicants from 162 countries, including, for the first time, Australia, New Zealand, Benin, Denmark and Sweden, and have put social and environmental impact at the heart of their business, ranging addressing issues related to healthcare, social inequalities, and sustainable communities and consumption.

“Creating opportunities for women and empowering them is not only what we believe is right, it also tells who we are: a Maison both anchored in reality and open to the world, thus perfectly aware of our responsibility. A responsibility, all the more important, given these uncertain times. At Cartier, we believe it is crucial to support young businesses and start-ups through to a more stable period. And this is what we intend to keep doing, fully aware that these women are making a concrete and durable impact, therefore paving the way for a better future,” says Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International in a press release. 

The finalists will not only receive financial support but also personalized coaching and access to an international professional network to help their business thrive, as well as a place on an INSEAD executive education programme. The laureates from each region will take home US$100,000 in prize money, whereas the second and third runner ups will receive US$30,000. The winners will be announced in early June 2020. 

2019 Laureates with Cyrille Vigneron, President & CEO of Cartier; Mercedes Abramo, President & CEO of Cartier North America; Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD; Kelsey Robinson, Partner at McKinsey & Company (San Francisco). ©Cartier

And we couldn't be prouder to have these representatives hailing from East Asia, which include:


Nini Mao, Very FQ 

What: Delivers financial literacy education to Chinese families through workshops, audio programs, family games, books and practical tools, to enable a thriving and prosperous community 

Why: This is in bids to highlight the pervasive problems plaguing China’s booming economy: a lack of knowledge about how to manage money and a skewed sense of the value of things. “In China, people are ashamed to talk about money,” says founder, Nini Mao. This lack of financial literacy has landed millions of families to fall victim to financial crimes and loan frauds.

Nini Mao, Very FQ

Weini Qiu, Haalthy 

What: Uses patient-submitted data to make cancer curable and treatment affordable.

Why: To make sense of overwhelming cancer diagnosis in China, where the vast amounts of cancer diagnoses each year, combined with a shortage of trained doctors, leaves little time for physicians to help patients understand their disease. Haalthy was started to address this data analysis gap for a variety of cancers, which serves both patients and pharmaceutical companies, which allows them to understand what drugs are more effective for a particular group of patients.


Charlotte Wang, EQuota 

What: An energy optimization company that combines artificial intelligence and big data to deliver energy efficiency solutions.

Why: “When I had my first child, I felt a responsibility to create a low-carbon future that preserves our earth. I truly believe that by using AI and big data we can improve energy systems for the next generation,” says Charlotte Wang. China, bearing the highest cost for fossil-fuel-related pollution, has led to numerous health risks. EQuota gives individuals real time feedback on their behaviours so they can make healthier choices, and analyses energy use patterns to identify opportunities to increase efficiency, at every point along the energy supply chain, ultimately leading to a reduction of particulate matter and fewer illnesses and deaths from pollution.

Learn more about the Cartier Women's Initiative 2020 finalist profiles on



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