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Name: Ileaa Swift

Business: Swift Travel Deals, a travel agency for different budgets

Industry: Other — Travel Agency

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.

Reason for starting: I started Swift Travel Deals to create an avenue to allow everyone to travel the world, regardless of budget. We offer payment plan options with low deposits, specialize in travel for special needs and handicap individuals and we recently launched the Travel with a Purpose Program that will allow individuals to travel the world for leisure but also participate in volunteer efforts such as beach cleanups and volunteering at orphanages, hospitals, etc. in order to become socially and environmentally aware travelers.

I had spent 7 years booking and researching travel for family and friends as a passion and a hobby. I studied the travel industry and researched several travel agency franchise options prior to starting mine. Since opening Swift Travel Deals in 2012, we have reached over 200,000 clients and potential clients worldwide and have a staff of 5 including travel agents located in Egypt and the UK. I love that I can use my presence in the travel industry as a platform for philanthropy through volunteer efforts and community service.

Related: Read about another woman utilizing her business to help create positive change here.

How do you define success? Success is doing what makes you happy, while working with the people who make you happy.

Biggest Success: Owning my own business as a minority young woman and being able to help others.

Related: Read more about giving back while you shop here.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Racial prejudice. It’s important to show people that we are all the same no matter what color, creed, race or religion.

Who is your most important role model? I look up to women in business who have created a successful brand like Oprah, Angelina Jolie and Beyonce.

Twitter   @swifttraveldeal

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Edited by The Story Exchange