Free Marketing Help Available For Chester County Small Businesses | Local News
WEST CHESTER – Small businesses have suffered during the pandemic, but a new local online platform – made up of recent WCU graduates and students – is now available to help small craft businesses in Chester County bring their products to market virtually .
NazBi was launched at the end of May. That’s the idea of Komeil Nasrollahi, head of business engagement for the Chester County Economic Development Board, who teaches at WCU’s College of Business and Public Management.
“During my tenure as a faculty member at WCU, I have met a handful of students who have truly exceeded my expectations of young adults,” he notes. He recruited them to help launch NazBi.
Danielle King said Nasrollahi called her in January. She is the social media manager for NazBi. “Being able to stay in West Chester after college, live and work here and enjoy this amazing community is a dream come true. But what’s even better is that I’m part of a team whose sole purpose is to bring value to our local community and support the shops and the city we all know and love, ”says -it.
King received his Bachelor of Science in International Business with a minor in Spanish in May 2020 and has been working full time since November for the West Chester Global Doctors US based healthcare company as Vice President of Operations, Marketing and pharmaceuticals.
All positions at NazBi are volunteers. “This business was created to help others and to help the positive growth of our community,” she explains. “We like to say that NazBi was made local, for local, and that couldn’t be more true. Our mission is to make #shopsmall more than just a hashtag, to make it a real community initiative. The company’s slogan: Go Buy Where You Go By!
“NazBi is a great opportunity for me to give back to the community I grew up in,” says Joey Wikol, who received his bachelor’s degree this year in professional studies with minors in international business, applied statistics and psychology. “I’m in charge of outreach, so I’m having conversations with small business owners in Chester County about how NazBi can promote the sale of their products locally. It’s inspiring and energizing.
Nasrollahi reports that around 35 local craft businesses have become partners so far. All are small and local, some are home-based and many are women-owned businesses.
The marketing team provides all e-commerce support to partners, creates their personalized web page including photographs and videos, and positions their products and brands on NazBi’s website and social media. NazBi is designed to be easy to use, convenient and efficient for all parties, charging 7.5% on transactions. Unlike other platforms like Etsy, there are no hidden charges for retailers or buyers.
“These are stories about our creative neighbors,” says Nasrollahi. He envisioned NazBi as a place where artisans in the area can easily connect with their neighbors and where buyers can easily support small businesses in their favorite neighborhood.
Braedon Swindler ensures this user-friendliness as the operations manager of the online platform while working full-time as the manager of the digital marketing division at IT Edge, a local technology consulting firm. His own efforts to take a business idea from concept to business, using the resources of the University’s Edwin Cottrell Entrepreneurial Leadership Center, led him to digital marketing, including website development, analytical monitoring and omnichannel development of the customer journey. He says he “thought it was slightly ironic that my first business venture was cut short due to the absence of a technician, but now here I am, working as a technician!”
Swindler earned his Bachelor of International Business (2020) and Masters (2021) in just four years at WCU by accelerating both programs.
Giana Reno, a WCU 2021 graduate with her BA in Communication and Media, interned at NazBi this spring during the last semester of her senior year and is now her Content Creation Manager. The concept, the team and the values of her company convinced her to stay at NazBi after her graduation “to watch more and more people get excited about what we do”.
Kylie Hayward, an aspiring media and culture graduate, joined NazBi in April as a social media and content creation intern. In no time, she recognized how the team’s passion and NazBi goals benefit small businesses in West Chester and beyond: “I hope we can help everyone recognize how buying local is important and what that means for our community. “
Eventually, Nasrollahi plans to launch NazBi platforms in other cities across the country.