Humza cooks up lesson for lenders

Humza cooks up lesson for lenders

A BIRMINGHAM business is defying the credit crunch to create nearly 100 new jobs in one of the most deprived parts of the city.

Humza is opening new premises in Tyesley and almost doubling the number of employees as it responds to a growth in demand for halal food.

The Humza brand is well known in the Asian market for its quality halal meat products that include burgers, sausages, samosas and pasties.

Set up seven years ago with just three employees the business has expanded and now provides 85 direct jobs – a number set to nearly double early next year.

Humza’s core market is in the United Kingdom but it also exports to parts of Europe with a high ethnic population including Belgium, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and Spain.

The company is keen to expand its overseas sales but its key priority is to distribute its own branded products through the major multiple outlets in the UK such as Tesco, Sainsbury, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose.

Products are made only with meat reared and slaughtered in strict accordance with the halal tradition. Only fresh vegetables and spices are used – Humza does not use powdered spices or artificial ingredients. Authentic family recipes from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh are used to provide a traditional taste of the Far East.

Mohammad Nazir, Chairman of the West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum says that the Humza success story provides an important lesson to lenders in the current economic slowdown.

“If Humza had taken the conventional route and applied for funding either from the mainstream banks or alternative sources, such as the Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) I very much doubt if they would have been successful.

“It is essential that lenders think outside the box when deciding on the allocation of limited funds, or minority ethnic and other businesses from disadvantaged communities will be even more deprived,” added Mohammad Nazir.

The West Midlands Minority Ethnic Business Forum provides strategic advice to the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and other agencies.

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