If you’re a woman, an entrepreneur and you think you have a strategy for a sustainable and smart business plan, then read on.

Launched in 2006 by Cartier and the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, in partnership with INSEAD Business School and McKinsey & Company, the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards is an annual international business plan competition for women entrepreneurs.

The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards aims to identify, support and encourage innovative women‑led business ventures with a strong social or environmental impact.

Cartier, a French luxury jewellery and watch brand, established the Cartier Awards with a threefold mission. To identify and support early‑stage women entrepreneurs through funding, coaching and support; to foster a spirit of enterprise by celebrating entrepreneurial women role models; and to create an international network of women entrepreneurs and promote interactions between peers.

In the first phase of the contest 18 finalists representing the best projects worldwide will be selected and they will receive coaching, media exposure and will be invited to attend the finale week, which includes a presentation in front of an international Jury and entrepreneurship workshops.

The awards will be given to six laureates in the following categories: Latin America, North America, Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia-Pacific.

Each laureate receives US$20,000 (RM81,193), coaching support for a full year, access to international networks, media visibility and an exclusive trophy designed by Cartier.

However, in celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and its long-lasting commitment in supporting entrepreneurial initiatives from around the world, the prize money granted to each laureate has been raised to a whopping US$100,000 (RM405,965) and each laureate will also be offered a place on the INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship 6-Day Executive Programme (ISEP).

The Awards Week will be taking place in Singapore in April 2017 with the following events: coaching sessions, final round of the competition to be held at INSEAD Asia Campus, press conference and the Awards ceremony at a location outside the campus.

We know you’re out there, just waiting to be discovered. So, check out this prestigious competition and who knows, you could be the laureate from Malaysia!

The call for applications is now open until Aug 31. Female entrepreneurs are invited to submit a short business plan. For more details including the online application form, visit www.cartierwomensinitiative.com. – Sandra Low