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Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Three Female Arab Entrepreneurs

Cartier's Women's Initiative

2023 Cartier Women’s Initiative Middle East first prize winner Khadija Elbedweihy, founder PraxiLabs. Courtesy Cartier

The annual Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards Ceremony kicked off with a powerful speech by Lebanese-British barrister Amal Clooney at the Salle Pleyel in Paris this week. It was followed by quick-fire presentations by several of the 33 international laureates. Women-and even a few men thanks to the new diversity category-shared inspiring stories of how and why they founded impact companies. The initiative was launched in 2006 and Cartier’s program aims to drive change by empowering women via mentorship, connections, and financial grants. “Women have always had a pivotal role at Cartier, who has actively supported women entrepreneurs for more than 16 years. We are thrilled, this year, to further expand our recognition of changemakers across the world with our two new regional awards and our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award,” comments Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO of Cartier International.

Ad Astra

Renad Aljefri, founder of Ad Astra. Courtesy Cartier

Over the years, the Cartier Women’s Initiative has recognized and supported 262 women across 62 countries. It has awarded a total of USD $7,440,000 in grant funding to impact entrepreneurs across industries include pharmaceuticals, e-learning, and agriculture among others. Women share that the program has boosted their self-confidence and offered a sense of belonging while helping expand their network and develop business skills. The program has also supported the development and growth of fellows’ respective businesses. Improvements in visibility and business strategy have been strong outcomes of the fellowship program.

In first place, Khadija Elbedweihy from Egypt is the founder of PraxiLabs, an e-learning platform that makes immersive virtual science labs accessible, usable, and affordable for educational institutions and schools. PraxiLabs makes science labs accessible, usable, and affordable for educational institutions and schools with an immersive virtual lab experience. Second place was awarded to Renad Aljefri from Saudi Arabia. She is the founder of Ad Astra Therapy, an electronic platform that links specialists with families of special-needs children to provide high-quality education and rehabilitation services. Third place went to Farah Emara from Egypt, founder of FreshSource, the MENA region’s first technology-driven agricultural supply platform that is transforming the lives of producers, businesses, and consumers.

Cartier Women's Initiative

Farah Emara, founder of FreshSource. Courtesy Cartier

The first-place awardee takes home US$100,000 in grant funding, while the second and third-place awardees receive US$60,000 and US$30,000 respectively. Additionally, all 33 fellows benefit from tailored mentoring and coaching, media visibility, networking opportunities and education courses from the leading business school INSEAD. Apply and learn more at

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