8 Cartier Women’s Initiative Entrepreneurs Look to Scale Impact
What would the world look like if every woman who dared to dream big could reach her fullest potential?
Realizing that vision is the goal of the Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI), which this year became SOCAP’s newest Entrepreneur Program partner. Founded in 2006, CWI is an annual international program that aims to drive social and environmental change by empowering women entrepreneurs. At SOCAP22, eight CWI fellows presented their solutions addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges in sectors ranging from wastewater management to health care to culture preservation. The SOCAP22 pitch session served as an opportunity for the CWI fellows to share their ideas with potential investors and funders and reach a broader market.
Meng Xu, CWI Head of Community and Content, said one phase of early-stage entrepreneurship can be particularly challenging for women entrepreneurs. “Once their businesses prove their product-market fits, they often find it difficult to secure institutional financing or achieve sustainable profitability,” she said. “This is the missing middle that we want to focus on.”
The diverse group of CWI women entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas represent the future of impact, Xu said. “It’s about doing the smart thing, doing the right thing, and also being able to generate sustainable financial business results,” she said. “They all share one common passion, which is to leverage the power of business to solve some of the most challenging issues of our time.”
Lu Zhang, Founder and Managing Partner of Fusion Fund, served as a jury member in selecting the CWI fellows. She said she has experienced the pitch process from both sides of the table: as a woman entrepreneur and funder. “I truly understand how challenging it is for a female founder to be able to get support, to get funding, or even just be recognized for their value in this community,” she said. “That’s also the motivation for me.”
Fellow CWI jury member Caroline von Hirshberg, Co-CEO at Spring Activator, said each CWI entrepreneur at SOCAP22 presented an idea that is ready to scale. “The real question for all of us in the room today is how each of us can support you to deepen and scale your impact. Think about a tangible way you can support these entrepreneurs.”
Watch the video below to hear from the CWI fellows in the SOCAP22 Entrepreneur Program and learn more about their solutions for impact. (For a specific pitch, forward the video to the indicated time.)