GLOBAL ENTREPRENEUR

Amber Chand Global EntrepeneurOver the past 25 years, Amber has been actively involved in the world of social enterprise, viewing it as a powerful, transformative agent for social change in our world. She believes that purpose-driven, visionary companies have a responsibility to serve humanity – and all stakeholders – in contributing to the common good, striving to meet a triple bottom line objective that impacts people, planet and profits.

Amber was the Founder of The Amber Chand Collection (later to be known as The Women’s Peace Collection) in 2005, a social enterprise that supported women’s micro-enterprises primarily in regions of conflict and post-conflict. Her company offered high quality, meaningful gifts created by talented craftswomen who were rebuilding their lives in the shadows of war, genocide, civil strife and crippling poverty.  As a refugee herself, Amber was personally drawn to supporting these women and worked with hundreds of talented artisans in countries like Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Burma, Cambodia, Israel, Palestine, Colombia, Bolivia, Rwanda, Darfur/Sudan, and Nepal. Ready to move on, Amber sold her company in 2013.

Amber is also the Co-Founder of Prosperity Candle together with Ted Barber (2009) and helped launch a new social enterprise that specifically supported women entrepreneur in volatile regions of the world through the production of candles in regions such as Haiti, Rwanda and Iraq. The company prioritizes purpose over profit and strives to end poverty through the spirit of entrepreneurship. Today Amber sits on the Business Advisory Board and is not actively involved in the day to day operations of the business.

Amber was the Co-Founder and Spokesperson for Eziba, a pioneering online company that launched in 1998 with a mission to create an innovative international market for artisans around the world.  Backed by Amazon, Eziba offered a catalog of high quality gifts sourced in some of the poorest regions of the world giving artisans the opportunity to create a dignified and sustainable livelihood for themselves and their families.  The company closed its doors in 2004.

A major focus of Amber’s global entrepreneurial work was to support peace-building initiatives offering craft as a symbolic expression for reconciliation. Her motto became:  Women’s Hands, A Force for Peace. She launched the Rwandan Peace Basket initiative in 2004 supporting widows from the genocide by offering them the opportunity to access the international market. The success of this project culminated in the Rwandan Peace Baskets becoming the #1 non agricultural export in Rwanda in 2004-5.  Amber was personally honored for her work by President Kagame.

She was one of the original architects and designers of the Jerusalem Candle of Hope, a remarkable collaboration that took place between Palestinian and Israeli craftswomen between 2004-2009.  With her focus remaining on the plight of refugee women in the world, she spearheaded The 100 Women: 100 Hopes Campaign in Darfur, an initiative that supported women who were struggling in one of the largest refugee camps in Western Darfur to earn a dignified livelihood under extremely challenging circumstance. In partnership with the non-profit organization Darfur Peace, she launched the Darfur Peace Baskets in the United States, supporting over 200 women in the camps.  The project was sadly terminated in 2008 by the Sudanese Government.

Amber has been widely recognized for her humanitarian business model. In 2008, she was inducted into the Business Women’s Hall of Fame by Baypath College, her Rwanda journals were published by Marie Claire Magazine, and Inc Magazine voted her Entrepreneur of the Month in 2005.  Other examples of national media attention for Amber’s work included articles in the Herald Tribune (European Edition), Chicago Tribune, and Boston Globe, and interviews by CNN News and most recently NPR.

Today, she sits on the advisory leadership boards for Prosperity Candle, the World Purpose Forum, the Women’s Collaborative for Creativity and Leadership, Kosmos Magazine, and Women of Spirit in the Berkshires. Her past affiliations include: Women for Women International, Awakening Women Entrepreneurs (AWE), and the Wise Women Council at the World Bank.