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Veuve Clicquot toasts women who dare to be bold

It is thanks to Madame Clicquot’s boldness that her champagne House became the innovative brand we know and love today. Find out how Veuve Clicquot honours her legacy by celebrating the boldest female entrepreneurs in the world today.

When Madame Clicquot’s husband died, women weren’t allowed to work, or even hold a bank account. So it was almost unthinkable that she might take the helm at their champagne House. But this widowed single mother wasn’t one to abide by convention. Not only did she run Veuve Cliquot, she revolutionised the world of champagne, inventing the first vintage, and the first rosé champagne, as well as earning herself the title “La Grande Dame of Champagne”.

This month [March 2020], inspired by Madame Clicquot’s entrepreneurial spirit, her champagne House celebrates the world’s boldest women once more in its annual awards, known as Bold by Veuve Clicquot. First created in 1972 as the Business Woman Award, these accolades have been recognising women entrepreneurs for almost 50 years. Today they celebrate audacious female leaders, upholding those who redefine success on their own terms, just as Madam Clicquot did two centuries ago.

Scope for change

Of course, society isn’t as stratified as it was in 1805, when Madame Cliquot was widowed at just 27. But while women have made great strides in business, it seems there is still room for change. Last year, Veuve Clicquot published a barometer of female entrepreneurship, which showed there are many barriers holding back would-be business champions.

Take France, for example. There, only 28% of women want to become entrepreneurs, even though they feel it’s more important to be their own boss than men, the survey shows. And clearly, there’s a need to highlight those who have blazed a trail for others. Because while role models are inspiring for 91% of would-be female entrepreneurs, only 12% can name a woman who has succeeded. Internationally, the trends are the same.

A worldwide quest

For Jean-Marc Gallot, President of Veuve Clicquot, the research demonstrates that there is still much work to do. “So we must speak even louder, go faster and take action. It’s why we decided to bolster our support of female entrepreneurs by establishing an international programme: Bold by Veuve Clicquot.”

And so, in honour of the woman who made its reputation, Veuve Clicquot is now on a global mission to identify the role models of today and tomorrow. From the very first winner, French construction engineer Giselle Picaud, to last year’s winners, including Australian Kim Jackson, whose investment firm invests heavily in start-ups led by women, it highlights those entrepreneurs who will be remembered for their boldness.

What is more, through the series of awards the programme now includes, Veuve Clicquot now rewards not just women, but also men who have played their part in helping women to smash glass ceilings. It’s a legacy even Madame Clicquot might not have dared imagine. But we’re sure she would have approved.