iSWOP, was founded in Philadelphia eight years ago in the kitchen of the Mt. Airy area home of the CEO and his wife, they were craving the best soul food in the Philly â€“ in particular a recommended location. Results from the national search engines where less than helpful for ethnic businesses and local online directories or web presence for ethnic neighborhoods was virtually non-existent.
Where they found several locations was in their church small business directory, which is a nod to the historic Green Book, a black survival guide of lodging, restaurant and service providers catering to Black people traveling through the south during the era of Jim Crow through the 1960â€™s.
With limited resources, we conducted â€śmother-in-lawâ€? research at these churches to understand the needs of the business owner as well as the consumer who would support them. We learned that:
iSWOP, the parent company of ShopPhilly1st.com and Commerce University, can best be described by itsâ€™ motto, â€śSupporting Community Commerceâ€?.