The Halal Business Transformation Program (HBTP), is an accelerator program of the Africa Islamic Economic Foundation (AFRIEF). It is designed to prepare Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and company founders in Africa to become halal entrepreneurs and to structure their companies for the next stage of growth through access to a 4-month intensive educational program that includes sessions on Halal entrepreneurship, leadership and strategy, Islamic finance and the Global Halal Economy Market, design thinking and long term financing opportunities. The program is exclusively designed for business owners of for-profit companies or for-profit social enterprises with annual company revenues ranging between US$100,000 – US$10 million and beyond, with a sound business model, clear growth strategy and a desire to obtain funding in the near future.

The Program, the first of its kind in Africa, is a high-touch learning experience aimed at empowering established business leaders in Africa who want to tap into the 6 trillion US Dollar Global Halal Market. Management teams of participating companies would be guided on how best to fast-track their development and capital raising processes, how to access the most suitable funding for their needs, whether debt capital, private equity, venture capital and the sukuk markets. Companies have the opportunity to reflect on their own plans and challenges and learn from others’ experience. The program also allows its vibrant international advisor and investor community the opportunity to engage with a pool of high quality, dynamic companies and entrepreneurs.

The learning modules of the Program are discussion-led and are brought to life by business challenges, case studies and most importantly external experts business leaders, entrepreneurs, advisers and investors. By challenging African business leaders to assess their company’s vision, to redefine strategies, and to make ambitious changes to their businesses, transformation is realised even before completion of the Program. Because participants would gain critical tools to grow their companies and create jobs, which would in turn lead their countries to greater prosperity. The Program has a strong focus on encouraging companies to trade internationally. Therefore, products or services 0f participating companies must have export potential with at least 30-50% of sales being outside their respective countries to overseas. The inaugural cohort will begin classes earlier October 2022.

Using a cross-sectoral, collaborative approach, the Program works internationally to:

  • Raise awareness in Africa of the unrivalled opportunities that exists in the Global Halal Market
  • Strengthen the domestic and export activities of a new generation of Halal companies in Africa by equipping them with the prerequisite knowledge and exposure to new geographies and opportunities
  • Build entrepreneurial and leadership capacity in the Halal industrial sectors in target African countries
  • Improve collaboration between Halal companies, Halal industry sectors, accelerate growth in R&D and the understanding of new business models
  • Catalyse idea exchange between companies, founders, entrepreneurs, commercial investors, academia, leaders and policymakers
  • Boost Halal Economy policy and infrastructure development in partner nations
  • Increase international connections and sustain the global economic impact and integrity of Africa’s Halal industry.


The global halal market of 1.8 billion Muslims and 0.2 billion non-Muslims is no longer confined to food and food related products. It has since assumed multi-sectoral dimensions covering sectors and products ranging from:

  • Agribusiness: Food & Beverages
  • Non-food consumables sector which comprises: fashion, pharmaceuticals, toiletries, healthcare products and cosmetics.
  • Services sector which comprises: finance and banking, real estate, hotels, travel and tourism, Renewable Energy & Environment
  • Spin-off and ancillary activities such as: research & development, logistics & transport, print and electronic media, branding and marketing, packaging & handling, audit, & certification.

The program will therefore target businesses and companies which operate in the above sectors.


CEOs; Directors; General Managers; Heads of Department; Managers; and Advisors   of companies from the following Industries are eligible for the Program

  • Food/Beverage
  • Pharmaceutical/Cosmetics
  • Property/Investment
  • Banking/ Finance
  • Hospitality/Travel/Tourism
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Textiles

Research & Development, Logistics & Transport, Print and Electronic Media, Branding and Marketing, Packaging & Handling, Audit, & Certification.


The Halal Business Transformation Program offers an innovative approach, including a training programme, a working zone supported by a tutorship model and direct access to the financial community through dedicated digital community facilities. It is “capital neutral” to any financing opportunity, providing access to Sukuk, Private Equity and Venture Capital funds, debt products, etc.

  • A comprehensive training program for founders and managers delivered by academic professionals, industry experts and other entrepreneurs to stimulate cultural and organisational change, understand the language of the Halal Industry and financial community and help in evaluating long term financing opportunities.
  • Progressive adoption of new management practices, financial competencies and governance structure in order to be prepared to deal with Islamic financiers and Halal investors with the support of a dedicated external advisory team where appropriate.
  • Capitalise on the benefits associated with the new model and access new business, networking opportunities and funding options, thanks to the vibrant AFRIEF community of advisors, investors and stakeholders


  • High quality and highly ambitious business
  • Historic growth and future potential
  • Convincing growth projections
  • Credibility of management
  • At least, three years audited accounts
  • An annual turnover ranging between US$100,000 – US$10 million, or above.
  • Motivation to deal with the ethical, cultural, organizational, managerial change eventually required to run a 21st Century Halal Business, to access long term financing opportunities and the Global Halal Market.

AFRIEF may reserve the right to allow companies that do not fully meet the above requirements to join and/or continue as members of the Program, taking into consideration of the macroeconomic situation of a country, the characteristics of the sector and any temporary or extraordinary circumstances affecting the company.


  • Active participation in the training programme
  • Active participation to dedicated workshops
  • Regular update of company profile
  • Publication of interim reports
  • Draft of an annual budget and industrial plan
  • Definition of a governance model appropriate to the size and complexity of the corporate structure
  • Audited accounts
  • Successful presentation of the company to institutional investors and financiers.



  • Domestic and foreign market intelligence, and information on how to access the supplier
  • Assistance on fulfilling the criteria and process to obtain quality Halal certifications and meet other industry standards that may be required in the target market
  • Guidelines for application of Halal certification
  • Halal training and capability building
  • Business networking and matching support
  • Targeted market report and know-how in focus industries
  • Halal economy and industry related statistics
  • Application submission and processing for halal-specific incentives
  • Special Halal Economic Zones development and service support