Syrian refugee on the path to entrepreneurial success

Categories: Salford Business School

A Syrian refugee who fled to the UK after the war has established his own graphic design business helping Arabic business owners create and translate signage and menus.    

University of Salford graduate, Mohamad Danou, started Blackburn-based Tashkeel Design last year and has a roster of 12 clients within the food and takeaway industry already.

Mohamad arrived in England in 2013, leaving behind his home country. He also decided to leave behind his old career in travel and embark on a more creative path of graphic design. He said: “When I moved to the UK, I decided to find something I love doing and start a career in that.

“I originally started by doing some photography courses but then found my true passion with graphic design.”

Being bilingual in both English and Arabic, Mohamad has been able to assist a large community of native Arabic speakers to advertise and promote their businesses. His portfolio of work includes restaurant menus, signage, posters and logos for various businesses.

“Clients of mine were struggling to advertise and promote their businesses due to the language barriers they were facing, they found it hard to explain what exactly they needed from other designers,” he said.

“I’ve been able to help multiple businesses and It’s been a massive selling point for my business as majority of my clients have been referred to me by word of mouth.”

The name of Mohamad’s graphic design business Tashkeel translates to shaping. He chose this name as he believes it conveys what the business means to him and his clients – the business has shaped his career since he fled from Syria and can continue to help shape his clients businesses with their unique logos and menus provided by him.

Whilst studying at the University of Salford, Mohamad sought help from Launch@Salford, the University of Salford’s business incubator to propel his business. Launch was set up in 2018 with the idea of aiding students and alumni in developing their own business. As part of a six-month support programme, users get access to a plethora of support from the team, including training, guidance, office space and financial aid.

“Launch has been integral in helping me understanding the legal and financial element of starting a business.

“It was really helpful having mentors around you to help guide you and make the best decisions for yourself and business.”

You can view his portfolio or contact him with any enquiries at the Tashkeel Design website.

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