North East BIC visitors
Sarah Spence

Member Article

Middle East entrepreneurs benefit from North East visit

The North East Business and Innovation centre (BIC) have welcomed two overseas entrepreneurs to the North East giving them insight into UK business culture and source new contacts.

Special projects manager, Lilla Preston, organised the visit after attending the European Business Network (EBN) conference in the summer. It was here that Lilla met organisers from the Soft Landing scheme, designed to support entrepreneurs. Three months later the BIC welcomed Eman Nasr from Egypt and Meriem Debbagh from Morocco, both keen to explore the UK business markets. Lilla explains: “After the conference we started a dialogue with a number of entrepreneurs who had applied competitively to be accepted into the programme. As a result Eman and Meriem visited the region for four days.”

Both entrepreneurs have established businesses in their own countries; Eman is managing director of NoooN, producing green car accessories using agricultural waste, such as an air freshener made of rice straw and a trash bin. Currently her clients include Mitsubishi and Volkswagen.

Eman started her ethical business one month after the revolution in Egypt. The company supports a network of women who are keen to work but find it challenging to work outside their home. Eman provides these women with textile manufacturing equipment and daily orders to ensure they have are self sufficient. Eman said:

“I came to the BIC to look for exporting opportunities, new distributers and retailers and also to understand the UK business community.”

Principal manager, Meriem Debbagh, oversees her family business, IRCOS Cosmetics founded in 1999. A laboratory, certified ISO 22716, which develops numerous formulas for skin care products as well as outsourcing beauty products for businesses who want to self brand, such as hotels and hair and beauty salons. Just recently the company has launched its own brand BOTANIKA. Meriem adds:

“Visiting the BIC has allowed me to share with the UK about our Moroccan family business dedicated to meet the needs and challenges of today’s beauty markets around the world. “This has been a valid research experience and I have learned a lot during my visit. I may even have a potential order from a North East business. Everyone at the BIC has been welcoming and I really like the teamwork and atmosphere.”

Lilla continues:

“The BIC received their EBN accreditation 20 years ago and are maximising all the links it has established over the years to ensure we support overseas entrepreneurs wanting to develop in the UK and provide new products and services for our own clients here in the North East.

“It has been a wonderful experience to welcome Eman and Meriem and I hope to see the success they have in their own countries replicated here in the UK soon.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Sarah Spence .

Enjoy the read? Get Bdaily delivered.

Sign up to receive our popular North East morning email for free.

* Occasional offers & updates from selected Bdaily partners

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read