Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award 2017: Three Finalists

posted on | updated on | by Zuri Girl

For the last 45 years, the Maison Veuve Clicquot has been awarding top female entrepreneurs the honor of the “Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award” as a reminiscence of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot who was the first ever business woman (1977-1866).

Madame Clicquot became the owner of the Champagne Maison Clicquot-Ponsardin after the death of her husband in 1805. She transformed a small-size business into an empire during her 61 years at the Head of the Maison Clicquot (1805-1866) in an industry dominated by men. 


Since then, the Maison Veuve Clicquot recognised over 350 women around the world in over 27 countries, who have the same inspirational qualities as Madame Clicquot had: entrepreneurial spirit, creativity & innovation, courage, a role model to make things change, and determination as well as audacity. The Maison Veuve Clicquot also assesses the company financials & growth potential as well as the social and environmental responsibility of the nominees.

The Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award has existed in Switzerland 14 times since 1985. It established itself as a renowned award for Swiss business women in recent years, that is not only coherent to the business world of today but is an inspiration for generations of business women leaders to come.


The 3 Finalists

Alisée de Tonnac
This young and talented candidate, Alisée de Tonnac, founded “Seedstars” in 2013 in the Canton of Geneva in a town called Carouge.  Before leaving her former job at L’Oreal where she was product manager, Alisée traveled the world for a year to launch the first edition of Seedstars World, the largest competition for emerging market start-ups.  Today, employing 30 people, the competition is present in more than 80 cities and hosts nearly 15 strategic platforms around the world; including a co-working space, an acceleration program, and a program to create and support start ups.

Since Seedstars creation, the company has had tremendous worldwide success.  It’s secret?  An inspiration quote from Eleanor Roosevelt to whom Alisée owes her success today:  “Do one thing a day that terrifies you.”  So that’s what she did when she quit her job and caught the first opportunity that was opened to her, which just so happened to be the beginning of Seedstars.


Barbara Lax
Barbara Lax founded Little Green House in 2011 in Cham, a city in the Canton of Zug.  Little Green House holds an eco-friendly and innovative concept that consists of a childcare center, which helps families combine careers with family life.

Barbara’s vision was to create a strong line between the business world and the social world.  While combing her entrepreneurial project with her life as a mother, she is a role model and a true source of inspiration for her team and her family.  She works hard and is guided only by her passion in helping families.

To date, Little Green House has 120 employees working in four day-care centers in Switzerland.  Zurich, Gland, Morges, and Versoix.  The company also has over 600 clients.  Little Green house was ranked 12th in the «champions de la croissance 2017» ranking by Handelszeitung and Le Temps.


Kamila Markram
Kamila Markram and her husband, Henry Markram, developed a radically new model for Open Science and founded “Frontiers” in 2008 at L’Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL).  It consists of an Open Science platform aimed at making research results accessible to the world by accelerating scientific and technological progress as well as societal progress and economic growth.

Kamila has built and is currently leading a dynamic and fully international team of more than 300 employees, with offices in Lausanne, Madrid, London, Brussels, Seattle, Trivandrum, and Beijing.  In 2013, the press group, Nature Publishing Group, published the journal Nature, and invested several millions of dollars into the platform.

In addition, under the leadership of Kamilia, more than 70,000 of the worlds leading researchers on Frontiers editorial boards and more than 300,000 authors have published nearly 70,000 articles.  “Frontiers” publishes journals cited in neuroscience, psychology, and plant sciences, as well as physiology and microbiology.


This Businesswoman’s Veuve Clicquot Award will recognize and reward the success, vision and human qualities of one of these three brilliant businesswomen. The name of the award winner this year will be revealed at the award-giving ceremony moderated by Sven Epiney at the Park Hyatt Zurich on 30 November, 2017. 

We applaud these inspirational women and all the budding entrepreneurs out there. You go girls!