A common saying you might hear is “education can help you make a living but self education can help you make a fortune.”
Over the last decade with global financial recessions, austerity cuts and in contemporary times Brexit woes have led many companies to go into retreat.
Yet in recent years we have been able to observe a phenomenal growth in some economical sectors.
One such sector is the global Islamic economy made up of various Halal industries.
The State of the Global Islamic Economy Report was recently released by Thomson Reuters in collaboration with DinarStandard and supported by Dubai Capital of Islamic Economy.
The report showcased the estimated Muslim spend in 2017 which was $2.1 trillion and which continues to grow year on year.
The term Islamic economy was coined by Thomson Reuters a few years ago. Halal products are now appearing regularly on British supermarket shelves and more mainstream companies are targeting Muslim consumers.
Growth in the global Islamic economy is occurring in a diverse range of sectors such as Halal food, Islamic finance, Halal travel, modest fashion clothing, media and other areas.
According to the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in 2018 there were over 3.3 million Muslims in the UK. This is in comparison to a 1.8 billion Muslim population worldwide according to a 2015 Pew Research Centre report.
The London Muslim Shopping Festival (LMSF) is the premiere UK event for the Halal and Muslim business sector.
The event attracts mainstream buyers from around the globe including prestigious brands such as Harrods & Selfridges to name but a few.
The LMSF was founded by London based, Waleed Jahangir the Director of Algebra Consulting.
He has also been responsible for creating other iconic events such as the London Halal Food Festival and Modest Fashion Live.
Another London based entity is Halal Booking. This company focuses on Halal travel providing solutions for Muslim and non Muslim customers looking for specific services such as alcohol free hotel accommodation.
The Halal travel sector is estimated to hit $300 billion by 2026. The millennial tech savvy traveller and ‘Generation M’ as described by author Shelina Janmohamed is now often more educated and has a higher amount of disposable income in comparison to past generations. This has driven forward the opportunity for Muslim millennials to have new experiences by travelling to exotic destinations around the world.
It has been reported that the Ramadan economy in the UK was worth £200 million with supermarkets in particular targeting campaigns geared mainly towards the British Muslim community through relevant products.
In 2016 journalist Myriam Francois created a BBC documentary called ‘The Muslim Pound’ which explored the trend of high street stores creating products targeted towards Muslims such as the burkini which was sold by M&S aimed at Muslim women who were looking for modest swimwear.
Business creation and set up has grown amongst Muslim communities across the UK. Some examples of this are the London Beard Company, Wahed Invest, The Halal Cosmetics Company, Mini Muslims, Ibraheem Toy House, Muzmatch, The Halal Dining Club, The Mocktail Company, Haloodies, Halal Incorp, Halalnivore amongst many other existing and emerging brands.
Presently the uncertain economic environment in the UK in contrast also allows for opportunity.
Adventurous entrepreneurial individuals can take advantage of the digital economy and create online businesses selling from the click or swipe of a button via smart phones.
The contemporary technological advances allow individuals to sell online products through ecommerce amongst other channels.
It is certainly worth considering starting a side hustle alongside a day job and persevering over a period of time with the aspiration of eventually achieving time and location freedom whilst experiencing the ups and downs of running a business.
Maj Hussain is the Director of Halal Incorp based in the UK, an Islamic economy consultant and entrepreneur. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org