Words Kiran Yoliswa
As a luxury jewellery brand, Cartier – it would be fair to say – knows a fair amount about women and successful businesses. So to encourage female entrepreneurship, the company supports the start-up dreams of women from across the world through its Women's Initiative Awards.
Every year it chooses six inspiring 'laureates', awarding each US$20,000 and business coaching for a year. Last year ARISE joined Cartier in France for the awards ceremony, which forms part of the Women's Forum. This weekend we're going back to meet the new Cartier finalists and hear from 2012 forum invitees, which include a special African Delegation and speakers including Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Cherie Blair.
The three entrepreneurs nominated for this year’s Sub-Saharan Africa Award are Lindsay Stradley, working for clean and affordable waste disposal in Kenya; South Africa's Nthabi Sibanda, who offers educational tools in African languages; and low-cost and eco-friendly sanitary pads courtesy of Julienne Ingabire and Elizabeth Scharpf (Rwanda). One of the three women representing North Africa and Middle East, Rania Seddik (Egypt) has been nominated for connecting local artisans to a global craft market. The winners will be announced on October 11.