Sarah Lance

EmPWR Project Manager

Sarah Lance joined The NIIC in June 2020 in the newly created position of Project Manager. Her focus is on leading the EmPWR Program to serve women business owners in a post-COVID economy.

Lance earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Cal Poly, Pomona.

Lance co-founded, Sari Bari Private Limited, a social business in 2006 in Kolkata, India to give freedom to women from the commercial sex trade through alternative employment. Sari Bari Private Limited currently brings empowerment and freedom to 100+ women vulnerable to or exploited by human trafficking. Sari Bari creates high quality artisan goods for the global ethically- minded consumer.

Her most recent role was as the Director of Brand and Strategy for Sari Bari, USA 501(3)c based in Fort Wayne, IN. She offered vision and direction to the movement and community of Sari Bari for more than 14 years as the CEO and Creative Director of Sari Bari Private Limited. Her experience ranges from product design and brand development to marketing, systems building, to production and operations management.

In 2016, Lance was awarded the Opus Prize for Social Entrepreneurship for her work with Sari Bari. As a result, Sari Bari was awarded a $1 million prize to support the ongoing work of creating freedom and opportunity for vulnerable women in Kolkata, India.

“I love the forward-thinking and innovative process of The NIIC team in creating the EmPWR Program to serve women-owned businesses facing the challenges of COVID-19. There are real challenges ahead. We will need allies to make it through this together. The NIIC is a critical ally as it serves women and is actively committed to being an inclusive entrepreneurial space. I look forward to creatively engaging the problems we will face, together with strategic resource partners, to innovate unique solutions. I look forward to collaborating with The NIIC team to provide excellent support to the businesses served and re-imagining and re-invigorating women-owned businesses in the state of Indiana in our post COVID world.

In her spare time, Lance enjoys hiking, long-distance walking, working on do-it-yourself home projects, spending time with friends and family, any creative outlets from upholstery to painting.

She serves as a Sari Bari USA, Board Member and on the Freedom Business Alliance Advisory Board.


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