School of Business and Economics

Study

Case Study

Yakout – The Gem of Fabrics

Nourhan Hossam Yakout

Loughborough University MBA Graduate, young entrepreneur and founder of Yakout Limited

From Egypt to the UK

Nourhan began her journey with Loughborough University even before reaching the UK. In 2010, she obtained her Bachelor degree from The British University in Egypt which, at the time, was accredited by Loughborough University. In 2015, Nourhan travelled to the UK in which she began her MBA under the School of Business and Economics (SBE) and has now extended her stay by her entrepreneurial journey with Yakout Limited.

Help from the Loughborough Enterprise Network (LEN)

Nourhan took the opportunity as her MBA internship to spend the year doing the market research for her business under the supervision of Julie Holland and Amanda Berry where she was helped to write her business plan. She was given ideas on which local markets to approach, which led her to further understand the demands of her targeted customers. In 2015, she was given the opportunity to hire an intern under her company, who at the time, was an MBA student from the SBE. Through regular meetings, Nourhan was also supported with constructive tips on curating business strategies that best suited her vision for Yakout.

The backstory

Nourhan believed that every business should have its own independent personality brand and was keen to give hers a meaningful name. Hence, it led her to choose Yakout. Not only was Yakout her family name but it is also an Arabic word for ruby. Following from this, the idea of the ruby led Nourhan to use the slogan ‘Gem of Fabrics’ whereas the categories of fabrics followed the names of different varieties of gems.

When asked about her interests in the business sector, Nourhan commented:

“I think I am an entrepreneur by nature as I am always eager to explore and learn new things! I hadn't realised this before whilst being an employee for three years in the petroleum and textile industries. It was very difficult for me to work through. I also believe in the quote that goes “your passion chases you even if you turn your head away”. This was in line with how my passion for art and colors was only fully discovered when I began Yakout.”

Nourhan Yakout Working

The company was established and registered with companies’ house in August 2016, and had first started its operations selling personalised Egyptian cotton products under the brand named Hatshepsut. This was less successful than anticipated and thus led the company to shift its activities into the thriving market of fashion and fabrics. For a year, Nourhan hot-desked at the Advanced Innovation and Technology Center (ATIC) before she moved to an office and store in the Charnwood business park.

Yakout today

Yakout is now located in Loughborough and is engaged in supplying various colours and designs of upholstery and soft furnishing fabrics to businesses. These businesses range from home fabrics to fabric retail shops, with customers and designers such as Fabwork Mills and Casa Bella of York and Rainbow Fabrics of London. Currently, Yakout is working towards developing her products range vertically and horizontally by adding more natural fabrics into her current range and introducing dress fabrics.

“My end in mind target is to be a well known brand for supplying fabrics throughout the UK, expand the business to Europe and trading my fabrics to those offering tailoring services. I am very thankful for all the support gained from Loughborough University and my family - especially my father for believing in me and supporting me by all means emotionally, physically and financially.”

Support Nourhan’s business by visiting her page at www.yakout.co.uk or give her a follow on:

Instagram: @yakout.co.uk                 Twitter: @yakout_uk              Facebook: @yakout.uk