Relocation and Business Expansion Tips for Islamic Economy Startups
Abd Elmohaimen Mansi is Founder & CEO of Elmangos.
There are many Islamic economy/Muslim startups in Europe & US targeting the global Muslim market. However, they have to do better in building a presence in Muslim majority countries and to make use of such a dynamic customer base. To get your first 50 or 100 clients who will help you build the foundation of your business, you must be willing to go talk, meet and build trust with them. You will receive feedback and comments that you can use to improve your business especially when you are just starting.
Part of the process includes flying and relocating for a short period of time in order to kick-start your business, especially if it’s a digital business, You should build lasting relationships based on trust. I am reminded of the Airbnb CEO, Brian Chesky, who would go and knock at the doors of homes to persuade house owners to list their properties on Airbnb. I imagine it was difficult and uncomfortable, but by gaining his first few clients, it helped him build his empire. If you are targeting Europe and Asia and wanting to connect East and West, then the best place is Turkey. If you are targeting Southeast Asia think about going to Malaysia. If you are focused on the GCC, you will have to consider Dubai or Bahrain (provided you have sizable capital as both are expensive cities). If you are targeting the Middle East and Africa, perhaps the best option is Egypt, Kenya or Morocco.
If you are worried about the visa and issuing a business license, then be aware of the following regulations in different countries:
– Malaysia: you can either get 1 year or 5 years entrepreneur visa in 2 months. It will cost $900 for 1 year and $1300 for 5 years.
– Turkey: you can get your 2 years visa in 1.5 to 2months. It costs around $400 including your insurance.
– UAE: It will take 1-2 months to get a visa depending on which free zone you are interested in. You must register your company to be your own sponsor on your company, which starts at $3500.
Being in the US or Europe now has become very challenging for many Muslims and it’s important to put this information out there for those who are considering relocating for the short term or long term to build their businesses.
I have travelled to and done business in 3 countries in the last 14 months; therefore this information is coming from the time and money that was spent on learning, and I hope many people will benefit.
If you are looking to relocate or do business in any of the countries that I have mentioned/living/doing business in, I will be offering limited 1-to-1 coaching/consulting to anyone who needs help with the following:
1. Expanding the client base
2. Looking to explore and setup business in a new market
3. Maximizing your revenue and business development