Historically, there hasn’t been much room at the table for women in business.

Thankfully, times are changing and platforms like Cartier Women’s Initiative are shining a spotlight on female entrepreneurs across the globe. 

First launched in 2006, the initiative awards female founders shaping our future with funding to grow their business.

On May 26, Cartier announced 2021’s deserving winners. Out of 876 applications from 142 countries, eight laureates out of 16 finalists have been selected to receive $100,000 and tailored support to elevate their work. 

The winners are diverse, inspiring, and finding solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Hailing from New Zealand, Rebecca Percasky’s The Better Packaging Co. produces sustainable packaging to reduce global waste.

From Mali and via Maya, Seynabou Dieng partners with local farmers to turn food that would usually go to waste into grocery products.

Representing East Asia, Corina Huang from Taiwan founded Boncha Boncha, a company selling candy nutritional pills for people who have difficulty swallowing regular ones. Innovation at its finest. 

Other Cartier Women’s Initiative laureates include Rebecca Hui of Roots Studio, Valentina Rogacheva of Verqor, Andrea Barber of Rater Power, Basima Abdulrahman of Kesk, and Orianna Bretscger of Aquacycl. 

The announcement concluded a three-day virtual summit filled with an impressive list of guest speakers like actor and activist Yara Shahidi.

As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, she held a talk on the importance of highlighting diverse stories and the power of using your voice to stand for change.

“We are supposed to create space for every story,” said Yara. “I understand the repercussions of the stories I was telling because I understood the repercussions of the stories I had been told growing up.” 

Although each winning founder’s story is different, they all created the change that they wanted to see. It’s an inspiring reminder for us all to do the same.