by Mark Lomas
  • 2 minute read
  • June 18, 2023
Forces For Good: Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2023 Celebrated Thought Leaders Who’ve Staked A Claim With Their Pioneering Work

The achievements of 32 exceptional entrepreneurs from around the world were honoured during the annual Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony that was held in Paris. It was a fitting celebration of women visionaries, who’ve staked a claim with their pioneering work and are building a path for the next generation.

The event, held under the theme ‘Forces for Good’ and hosted by broadcaster-writer-activist Sandi Toksvig, brought together inspiring global leaders, businesspersons and changemakers, who are committed to tackling gender parity.

Prominent figures, including Amal Clooney, co-founder of the Clooney Foundation for Justice; and Cyrille Vigneron, CEO and President of Cartier International, spoke about the importance of empowering women and leveraging business as a force for good.

Also in attendance were thought leaders like Lebanese actress-filmmaker-activist Nadine Labaki; actress-producer Yara Shahidi; and Wingee Sampaio, Global Programme Director of the Cartier Women’s Initiative, who discussed ways of amplifying a global solidarity movement. As a nod to Cartier’s support for artistic expression, the ceremony featured a dance performance led by Sadeck Waff, which was inspired by this year’s theme.

Awardees across nine regions were announced at the ceremony, with first-place winners receiving $100,000 in grant funding, whilst those securing second and third places were awarded $60,000 and $30,000, respectively. New regional categories, such as Oceania and Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, along with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award in the thematic section, were launched this year.

The first-prize winner from the Middle East and North Africa was Egyptian Khadija Elbedweihy, the founder of PraxiLabs – a company that offers immersive virtual lab experiences to make science more accessible, usable and affordable for educational institutions.

Other regional talents recognised include Renad Al Jefri, the Saudi CEO of Ad Astra Therapy; and Farah Emara, co-founder and CEO of Egyptian agricultural platform FreshSource. All 32 fellows will benefit from tailored mentoring, coaching, media visibility and networking opportunities through the programme, and educational courses at INSEAD, a leading French business school.

Now in its 16th year, the Cartier Women’s Initiative aims at strengthening the bond that unites its community and fostering collaborative partnerships to drive meaningful change – a commitment that’s aligned with Goal 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The call for 2024 applications has now been announced, and 33 fellows representing top three businesses in each category will be selected for the edition. The programme will offer them financial support, social impact guidance, and the chance to enhance their leadership skills.

With the next iteration soon to be under way, aspiring entrepreneurs have the opportunity to join Cartier’s celebrated community of changemakers and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.

Visit and, and follow @Cartier on Instagram.

Image Courtesy of Cartier; Photography by Floris Heuer © Makmende Media

Next In