Five Muslim Start-ups with a big future in the UK and beyond

Shahzad Younas (Muzmatch, Founder), Romanna Bint-Abukakr, Haute Elan, Founder), Imran Kausar (Haloodies, Co-Founder), Ikbal Hussain (Islamic GPS, Founder), Abdalhamid Evans (HalalFocus, Founder), Jes Bailey (Crowdfunding Specialist), Jonathan Bilal Wilson (Branding Consultant), Abul Rob (HalalEat, Founder), Siddika Jaffer, Halal Dining Club, Founder)

Salaam Events Co. in association with Salaam Ventures hosted a unique sell out one day event on the 12th October 2017 at the Holiday Inn, Commercial Road (London) for investors and entrepreneurs to discover the Halal Economy forming in the UK and beyond.  Tickets were sold out in matter of days and over 80 people were in attendance.

The Muslim consumer evolution is being driven by young Muslims asserting their values, and requiring companies to provide products and services that meet their faith-based needs. The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2016/17 published by Thomson Reuters estimates that the Islamic Economy was alone worth $1.9 trillion in 2015 and growing.

Guest speakers included Abdalhamid Evans (Imarat Consultants), Prof. Jonathan Wilson (gsm London & Hult International Business School), Jes Bailey (Crowd funding specialist) and Imran Kausar (Haloodies, Co-Founder & CEO). Collectively the speakers and consultant summarised and parted their wealth of knowledge in the Islamic economy.

The headline feature of the event was a panel discussion moderated by Ali Shah, Head of Emerging Technology & Strategic Direction of the BBC with five disruptive Muslim Entrepreneurs and their companies; HalalEat, Islamic GPS, Halal Dining Club, Haute Elan and Muzmatch recently identified by Forbes as “Five Muslim Start-Ups With A Big Future In The UK and Beyond” (See article below) . The discussion covered their journey and the challenges they face as entrepreneurs and included question from the audience.

The man behind the Salaam Co & Ventures initiative is Abul Rob (Founder of HalalEat mentioned in Forbes 5) who organised the event after it became apparent on the lack of knowledge on the “Halal” economy amongst everyday investors whilst equity crowdfunding recently for his startup HalalEat.

Rob said “The evening was a huge success and from the feedback we’ve received the audience, guest speakers and the Forbes 5 we may repeat this event again as a roadshow at select university campuses in London or key cities across the UK. I’m truly amazed by the response, considering we only put the whole event together in less than 12 days! It’s been an exhausting and delightful night and we look forward to bringing more unique events like this.”

HalalFocus comment: After attending this event we can see the importance of collaboration between entrepreneurs to help push forward their businesses. Helping each other grow should be part of everyone’s mission for success. It strengthens the market for everyone. Focus on collaboration instead of competition multiplies the success.


Five Muslim Start-ups with a great future in the UK and beyond


With the UK’s Muslim population now running at 3.1 million people – including 1.1 million in London alone – entrepreneurs are increasingly recognising the potential for businesses developed for the Islamic market at home and abroad. Here are five such ventures already on their way.


HalalEat is a British start-up with a mission to bring halal food to the masses. Currently crowdfunding on equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs – the offer is already overfunded – the London-based company is the UK’s first halal food delivery portal. It offers a diverse range of takeaway choices from curry to Caribbean, Chinese, Italian and more.

The idea behind HalalEat was born when founder and CEO, Abul Rob, was on a business trip and found himself unable to confidently and easily order a halal takeaway. Not wanting to compromise his faith, Abul, who previously worked for Just Eat and Hungry House, decided to launch HalalEat in November 2015.

Islamic GPS

London-based Islamic GPS, launched by Ikbal Hussain in 2016, is an augmented reality app that allows users to find mosques and Islamic landmarks around the world. By holding up your phone, the nearest mosque will appear with directions. If it’s a historic mosque, information is provided. The app aims to teach the history of the Muslim World in an innovative and useful manner.

Islamic GPS offers a radius to up to 20 kilometers for finding places to pray with an augmented reality feature. This means it gives you a live view of the world using GPS data. So if you go to Mecca or Istanbul, you’ll be able to see a variety of interesting landmarks.

Ranked among the top 10 apps in the travel category on the App store in Malawi, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Islamic GPS app been used in 94 countries.

Halal Dining Club

The Halal Dining Club is aimed at halal diners looking to discover, review, book and get rewards from restaurants all in one place. Founded by Londoner Siddika Jaffer in 2016, the start-up hopes to transform the lives of Muslims living in non-Muslim countries.

The Halal Dining Club has secured more than £200,000 of crowdfunding and has backing from high-profile investors including Forbes-rated venture capitalist Arnie Sriskandarajah and Ash Ali, Just Eats’ first marketing director. The business says its advantage is that its tools are designed with the dietary-restricted diner at the heart – taking away the need for a diner to hop between apps.

With global halal consumer spending expected to rise to $2.6 trillion by 2020 and the Muslim populations in a number of Western markets having doubled in the last decade, there is a big opportunity for restaurants keen to tap into the Halal market.


Muzmatch bills itself as the app where single Muslims meet. Founded by CEO Shahzad Younas, the company has ambitions to transform the Muslim marriage space. It regards the world’s 400 million single Muslim as a hugely underserved demographic and is targeting them with focused tools and solutions.

That seems to be working. In just two years, the platform has recruited more than 220,000 members worldwide and already boasts more than 6,000 successes, with engagements and weddings taking place daily. The business has just graduated from Y Combinator in San Francisco, one of the world’s most prestigious tech accelerators.

Haute Elan

Haute Elan was founded in London in 2013, selling online “modest fashion” to a customer base in more than 200 countries globally. Featuring the work of more than 200 designers, tbe business also has showrooms in London and Malaysia. Haute Elan also takes its role in society very seriously, with £1 from every purchase made on the platform donated to the Women Collective, which provides funds, mentoring and support to empower female entrepreneurs.