girl boss

Girlboss might be a flop on TV, but the real girl bosses who rock are those who make social enterprises their calling. And these groups are exactly the kind of people that Cartier is looking for in its open call for its 2018 Women’s Initiative Awards nominees.

Launched a decade ago together with the Insead Business School and management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, the premise of the award is to give emerging startups from each of the six continents a leg up on the competition with a cash of prize of US$100,000 (S$135,000) and a one-to-one personalised business mentoring.

The criteria? The head of the business has to be a woman, and the company has to have been around for not more than three years. The finalists would be judged on the degree of social impact they can bring, the creativity with their business model and also its financial sustainability. The application closes on August 31, but here, we have some names which might just make the cut.

#1: The Lifestyle Guru

Who: Liyi Chen of Indie Mamashop

Why: For mixing history, kitsch, design and humour with a good cause. Chen who cut her professional career at companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Singapore Economic Development Board started Indie Mamashop as a pet project in 2015 to create income opportunities for those who are economically-disadvantaged. She turned the business into a full-time calling last November and today, it’s known for its fun riff on items of old Singapura. Think cushions made from batik or clutches crafted from Good Morning towels. Apparently, our Female Collective member Charmaine Seah (below) is a fan too.

#2: The Silent Retreat Advocate

Who: Anthea Indira Ong of Hush Teabar

Why:  For making us rethink what mindfulness should be all about and being a social disrupter. Ong, a former managing director of an education technology business started Hush in 2014 as a roving silent tea salon by bringing the hearing impaired together with organisations (such as Google) and people from different walks of life (from migrant workers to social workers).

#3: The Floral Expert

Who: Hazel Kweh of BloomBack

Why: For giving the trendy craft of floristry a meaningful spin. The former flight attendant began her business last year by training palliative care patients and cancer patients in the art of floral arrangement. These group of people would then sell their arrangements on BloomBack e-shop in the hopes to become financially independent.

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