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Small Business Digest


Online Marketplace Aiding Impoverished Women

Impoverished women in the Middle East, Asia, and South America have a new chance at life thanks to the brainchild of a U.S. Marine Captain reservist and a social media technology and online marketing company. 

Tampa, Florida-based entrepreneur/U.S. Marine Captain reservist Jodie Sweezey, in concert with Marianne Gruzlewski of Third World Crafts, came up with the idea for after her two tours of duty in Iraq.

The idea was to create a distribution channel for handmade goods that would allow destitute women to earn a living so they could eat and provide shelter for themselves and their families.  Bringing it to life was the challenge, but Sweezey found the answers she needed thanks to social media technology and online marketing company Wyndstorm Corporation (OTCBB:WYND).  Sweezey contracted the company to develop, a humanitarian e-commerce effort, to create income streams for women in the Middle East, Asia, and South America.

With the website now live, Sweezey is realizing a dream to do something to help following her last tour of duty. "Many times these women have no means to earn a living," said Sweezey.  "For example, in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, a widow must rely on a male family member or a member of her former husband's family for everything.  When there are high illiteracy rates and no job experience, earning a living is impossible."

Sweezey partners with Third World Crafts to work with humanitarian groups internationally to train women and prepare them with micro-business skills.  In cooperation with these local efforts, purchases handcrafts directly from the women to become an online sales channel.  The e-commerce Website sells unique handmade purses, jewelry, and Christmas ornaments that are noteworthy for their exquisite detail and fine craftsmanship.

"Wyndstorm Corporation is proud to be part of this home grown solution for the most vulnerable," said Wyndstorm Corporation CEO Marian Sabety.  "People recognize us as a leading full-service technology company that designs, builds, hosts and manages online social networks. 
"To have the opportunity to apply social networking technology and online marketing to bring this global online marketplace to fruition allows us to bring the talents of the brightest and the best to bear, giving a voice to those who might otherwise not be heard.  There is no greater reward and we are honored to be a part of this extraordinary effort," said Sabety.

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