Al Islami Foods and Alf Yad launch a regional venture capital initiative

Al Islami Foods and Alf Yad launch a regional venture capital initiative
Introducing the “Al Islami Cart” business franchise opportunity

Dubai – Al Islami Foods and Alf Yad, a Dubai based venture capital fund for young Arab entrepreneurs announced their strategic collaboration at a press conference held today. Alf Yad will raise and deploy AED 100 million to promising Arab entrepreneurs across the region.

Al Islami Foods and Alf Yad will establish a strong business-base for young Arab entrepreneurs, offering franchise opportunities that encourage them to get into the halal food industry and initiating food-business ventures. Initially, Alf Yad will support Al Islami with the introduction of a business franchise for fast foods – the Al Islami Cart – a business franchise for fast foods primarily distributed in major Co-Op supermarkets, high traffic mall outlets as well as the Global Village and university campuses.

Mr. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chief Executive Officer of Al Islami Foods, commented: “Young entrepreneurs are the foundations of a sound economy; Al Islami’s commitment to reinforce a healthy and safe marketplace is the cornerstone of the company’s strategy and is in line with our vision, which seeks to build a strong and sustainable nation.”
Commenting on the new venture, Mr. Shehab Gargash, the Chief Executive Officer of Daman Investments, the manager of the fund, said: “We are extremely pleased to collaborate with Al Islami Foods in this first entrepreneurial venture which fits all the Alf Yad criteria as a venture capital fund targeting young entrepreneurs.  The Al Islami Cart project is a perfect first step for young business people seeking to start a self owned franchise.”
Addressing the press conference, Saleh Lootah emphasized the importance of involving young business talent in their efforts to promote the greater interests of society and consumers.  “In our drive to encourage the use of innovative business concepts, such as the Al Islami Cart, we are determined to inspire self-reliance in the young people of our community. We are pleased that Al Islami Foods and Alf Yad have taken the lead in spreading awareness among today’s entrepreneurs about the chance to support a programme that is good for society as a whole and also offers lucrative returns on their investments.” Lootah said.

According to year 2005 figures of Cairo-based Arab Labour Organisation, the total number of the unemployed in the Arab world is 16 million.  It is estimated to be increased to 25 million by 2010 and 80 million in 2020, with 60% of the unemployed aging from 15 to 24. The GCC population will shoot up to 40 million by 2010, the highest ratio in the world. The labour force will reach to 21 million. Every one per cent of the unemployed will cause aggregate loss of 2.5% in the GDP, which equals US$115 Billion.

Keeping in mind this trend, Al Islami and Alf Yad will later announce a consolidated plan to reach the untapped human capital and the unemployed through franchising opportunities such as Al Islami Cart.