Cartier Takes Its Women’s Initiative Celebrations To Shenzhen In China

Cartier Women's Initiative

by Henrik Lischke |
Updated on

To mark the 18th edition of its inaugural Women’s Initiative, Cartier took celebrations to Shenzhen, China, hosting a gala for the new cohort of 33 fellows of this year’s program, joined by host Sandi Toksvig and supermodel and entrepreneur, Karlie Kloss.

Under the maxim of ‘Forces for Change’, this year, too, CWI highlighted the businesses of female impact entrepreneurs from around the globe, whose outstanding achievements move the needle for their local communities, tackling social, environmental and sustainable issues by way of innovative solutions.

Cartier Women's Initiative
This year's Cartier Women's Initiative cohort ©Mao Chung

Open to female-run and female-owned businesses from any country following this mission statement, this year’s recipients of the fellowship represent a kaleidoscopic group of women with a vigorous drive to improve the conditions for those around them in a multitude of sectors.

Among the global awardees were three fellows from the UK: Laura Harnett, Mira Nameth and Monika Tomecka, all running companies with focuses on sustainability and bio-manufacturing. ‘As a female entrepreneur, the odds are massively stacked against me. With only 2% of funding in the UK going to female-founded businesses, it is really tough for women to raise investment, especially in this tough fundraising climate,’ says Harnett, founder of Seep - a company producing eco-friendly cleaning tools.

‘In the past few years, there have been so many initiatives to increase investment in female-founded businesses, but many are just about coaching or mentoring. Cartier have set up a programme that goes way beyond that. Cartier Women’s Initiative is doing the basics (with the best coaches around) but they are also giving me a global platform to tell the story about why my business matters. Crucially they're also backing me in the most important way, by putting their money into Seep. Women like me don't just need coaching - we have the experience and ability. What we need as female entrepreneurs is financial backing and visibility and Cartier have absolutely nailed this with their CWI programme,’ she continues.

Harnett is joined by 32 other fellows in the class of 2024, who - next to sustainability - run businesses that are championing the improvement of life for those living with disabilities, helping to destigmatise sexual health for women, providing access to financial services, attempting to solve large-scale food shortages and offering state-of-the-art educational programs to a new generation, to name but a handful of enterprises. Next to financial funding, the winners of the Cartier Women’s Initiative gain access to educational programming in business growth and skills and leadership development.

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