Cartier aims to delight women with its diamond-encrusted jewelry and watches. With its latest initiative, the company intends to please them in a different way.

The Compagnie Financière Riche­mont-owned firm, in partnership with the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society, is launching the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards.

Cartier will give awards of $20,000 each to five female entrepreneurs from North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Africa who submit the best business ideas based on distinctiveness, creativity and relevance.

McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm, and Insead, the graduate business school with campuses in Singapore and Fontainebleau, France, will advise the fledgling companies for a year, along with Cartier.

“This prize is quite unique and should raise excitement from women all around the world,” said Cartier chief executive officer Bernard Fornas, who was the driving force behind the project. “It’s a great way to push and to help female entrepreneurs. More than 50 percent of our staff is women.”

The deadline for registration is Feb. 28. Details on how to enter the contest are available at Winners will be named at a ceremony at the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society 2007 in October in Deauville, France.

This story first appeared in the January 17, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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