Grow with the AMCC. Don’t know what it is? Read here!
Newark, New Jersey: aMuslima attended the day long AMCC (American Muslim Consumer Consortium) on November 15, 2014 which focused on the Muslim Market and was entitled Global Perspectives Entrepreneurs Driving Change. Our objective in attending was to learn about the Muslim Business climate in regards to entrepreneurship and potential business opportunities for our Sisters.
aMuslima encourages sisters to become entrepreneurs and/or to build small businesses within their own communities. This promotes financial freedom for themselves and their families. We are also interested in generating more visibility for the Muslim Woman in the world. Muslim women are smart and independent, yet feminine and family oriented. We are an integral and important part of society today, both within and outside the Muslim community. As the age old proverb says: When you educate and empower women, you educate and empower a society!
A little bit of background.
The AMCC stands for the American Muslim Consumer Consortium (Conference) and was started in 2008 by Brother Faisal Masood, Sabiha Ansari, Saad Malik, Hoda Al-Beltagy, Sadiq Shariff, and Tarek Abousalem. Their intent was to create an awareness of the American Muslim Consumer market. The conferences are attended by Muslim business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs who are serving or are interested in expanding into the Muslim market. The event is packed with sessions presented by speakers who are from a diverse range of industries and this year’s speakers came from the pharmaceutical, food, beauty products, technology, banking, education, micro-finance, media, and retail segments. There were also representatives from non-profit backgrounds and various professions.
Aside from learning more about the Muslim Market landscape in each of the different industries, the conference, staying true to it’s title, focused on the six (6) Muslim Entrepreneurs who were chosen finalists. The winner took home a prize of $10,000, sponsored by the Barakaat Foods, which will allow the entrepreneur to gain visibility, to receive advice from successful veterans in the industry, and to become motivators for brothers and/or sisters who are thinking of starting up their own business.
What went down!
The morning of the conference began with breakfast and networking that proved relaxing and extremely informative. We (Gemi, Cynthia and Aminah) found that although it was a Muslim conference, the level of professionalism was truly impressive. There were around 400+ attendees and 27 speakers. There were 9 sessions in total, covering the Muslim market demographics, trends, and companies that are successful in the Halal Market space. The market trend reports were presented by the DinarStandard team. and based on their report, DinarStandard estimates that the Global Islamic/ Muslim Lifestyle economy represents a $1.62 trillion consumption market. Mortgage, Investing, Banking, Insurance, and Education are all very important spending segments for the Muslim market. One interesting fact is that Education is the 2nd highest category where Muslims spend their money, with the 1st priority being a Mortgage. This is inline with the fact that Muslims are highly educated (spending is very high in this category) and thus also have a higher household income than the general American population. For a complete Executive Summary please download it here: Copy of the summary of the American Muslim Consumer report here.
All of the sessions were very insightful and informative. It was quite exciting to watch and listen to the presentations in the “Shark Tank” format where the finalists were questioned by a group of highly accomplished professionals as they used the pound-and-hound strategy to select 6 entrepreneurs that were competing for the $10,000 prize from Barakaat Foods. The finalist were comprised of: Apna Gar, Alchemiya, Biyo, LaunchGood, My Halal Kitchen, and Notther World Entertainment Software. The winner was LaunchGood (www.LaunchGood.com), a crowd-funding platform for and by Muslims. Their platform is available for those entrepreneurs, organizations and individuals who have an idea or product for which they are looking to raise funds.
Overall, although this was our first year to attend this event, I would personally say that it was quite a change and great feeling to know that I was attending a conference where I could actually excuse myself to pray across the hall from the main conference hall without feeling rushed or awkward. The conference itself had a warm and inviting atmosphere despite being there for the first time. Everyone whom we met was open and interested in listening to and learning from one another. It was also great to feel such support during the event and now following the conference. I would highly recommend this for all Muslim business owners, professionals, students and those persons who are interested in this niche; come and attend as this will be the next mainstream market in America.
Here are some photo snapshots! We hope to see you there in 2016!