W.D. Strategies, LLC, a Pennsylvania-based business consultancy, was contracted to develop and support the Alleghenies Marketplace by the Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission (SAP&DC). The Marketplace will offer entrepreneurs in the Central Pennsylvania Region an online platform where they can sell products. This project is part of a larger initiative, Startup Alleghenies, to foster local entrepreneurship and is funded, in part, by a federal grant awarded to SAP&DC. The prototype of the platform is scheduled for debut in summer 2022.
W.D. Strategies was selected for both its experience developing web and mobile applications that support multi-vendor functionality, and the team’s commitment to partner with the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
“Cultivating a strong local economy and helping entrepreneurs succeed doesn’t end with an online marketplace – it’s just the beginning,” explains Wei-Chung Wang, Ph.D., W.D. Strategies’ CEO and founder. “We see it as our duty to educate the entrepreneurs – many of whom have never offered their products online before – so they’ve got the tools they need to see their businesses flourish.”
W.D. Strategies will develop an onboarding program to introduce Marketplace entrepreneurs to their digital dashboard, create a learning center that introduces best practices for digital marketing, search engine optimization, social media branding and other topics. The team will offer consulting and support services as part of their ongoing work with SAP&DC and Startup Alleghenies.
Entrepreneurs on the platform who see their business develop online to the level where they need their own website will have the option to do so thanks to the Marketplace’s integration of Business Intelligence. Business Intelligence is W.D. Strategies’ digital solution that features a website builder, analytics dashboard, social media marketing planner and integrations with Google Cloud, Google Workspace, GoDaddy, Constant Contact and others. Marketplace entrepreneurs will have access to the solutions inside the Business Intelligence platform as they expand their businesses.
“With access to the right tools, automated systems and analytics to understand and enhance your operating model, we’re confident local businesses can grow to the point where they can attract revenue from beyond the six-county region,” explains Wang. “This will be a helpful boost to the local economy.”