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Manchester Expo provides showcase for the UK’s Muslim ‘mumpreneurs’

Organisers of the Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016, to be held at Manchester’s EventCity, 29-30 October, estimate that females currently form 50% of business start-ups from the Muslim community. It is a figure they believe is set to rise further in the future.

Nearly six in 10 of the exhibitors at the expo will be female, a tribute to the rising crop of female Muslim ‘mumpreneurs’.

Oraganisers of the event also expect 10,000 visitors to what is set to be the UK’s biggest showcase of the trillion-dollar global Muslim consumer industry.

Visitors will be able to meet 130 exhibitors, including companies dealing in ‘mocktails’, greeting cards, luxury prayer mats, Islamic toys, fashion, accessories and cosmetics.

“The stereotype of Muslim women stuck in the kitchen and carrying out household chores are long gone,” said Tahir Mirza, founder of the expo.

“When we announced this year’s dates for MLE2016, we were inundated with enquiries from Muslim women from not only the UK but across the world wanting to exhibit.

“It’s a booming industry and these mumpreneurs are working hard in their 9-5 jobs and in their spare time are setting up successful businesses in a wide range of sectors.”

To highlight the growth and success of Muslim businesswomen, the expo will host, as part of its MLE Connect seminar sessions, a panel discussion titled ‘The Rise of the Muslim Mumpreneur’.

One mumpreneur who will be exhibiting is mother-of-two Shahin Hussain from Watford who started The Mocktail Company three months ago. The business, which makes non-alcoholic mocktails, has already sold 19,000 bottles and is stocked in over 50 outlets.

“I noticed that there was huge gap in the market and got the inspiration from there.” says Shahin.

The expo will also feature a live modest fashion show with leading brands, a dedicated health and kids zone, live food demo theatre featuring Great British Bake Off's Ali Imdad, comedy by British Muslim comedians like Aatif Nawaz and BBC Three’s Guzzy Bear.

Thought leaders and established entrepreneurs will highlight the growth of the Muslim lifestyle markets and share business insights at the MLE Connect seminars.

“The traditional working class Muslim woman doesn't often get the support to start a business and they don’t use traditional crowdfunding methods,” Mirza added.

“It is one of the main reasons why we created the Muslim Lifestyle Expo 2016 to allow Muslim female entrepreneurs the platform and confidence to showcase their products, network and connect with the wider business world.”