Cartier awards Brazilian female entrepreneur prodigy

Tech business whizz Bel Pesce was chosen as a laureate at the luxury brand's international business plan competition for her education project.

Cartier has picked Brazilian tech entrepreneur whizz Bel Pesce as one of the winners at a competition aimed at identifying and fostering resourceful ideas by female entrepreneurs globally.

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Pesce was chosen as a Latin America laureate for FazINOVA, a project that aims at teaching professional development through entrepreneurial values, both online and face-to-face.

The Cartier Women's Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition created by the luxury goods company and the Women's Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school. Prize winners also receive a funding package for their ventures of $20,000, as well as one of year of coaching.

Launched in April 2013, Pesce's venture went from a launch with three offline courses on entrepreneurship, innovation and relationships to having a current student base of more than 30,000 people.

As well as the courses and the co-working space FazINOVA now maintains, plans to further monetize the venture include advertising and data mining.

According to Pesce, the courses have a 38 percent completion rate, which is "far above the average" in paid or free mainstream online learning channels.

An MIT graduate who worked for sector giants including Google and Microsoft before setting up and advising several tech-based ventures such as mobile money management startup Lemon, Bel Pesce wrote various books based on her experiences. 

The success of her literary work on entrepreneurship then prompted Pesce's return to Brazil in 2013 to set up her current education venture.