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Bradford alumni entrepreneurs recognised at 2017 Duke of York Awards


Two alumni of the University of Bradford received royal approval from HRH The Duke of York for their new-start business.

Mustafa Al-Shalechy and Mohammed Ali Alshamari collected The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Award from The Duke at a special awards ceremony at the University of Huddersfield.

‌The Duke of York Young Entrepreneur Awards began in 2013 and this year's ceremony recognised entrepreneurial students and recent graduates from 16 universities in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Durham and Northumbria.

Both Mustafa and Mohammed came to the UK from Iraq with their families in the 1990s and graduated with Bradford masters level pharmacy degrees in 2013 and 2011 respectively. In October 2015, they started their Yorkshire-based pharmaceuticals company CurePharma, an authorised wholesale distributor recognised by the UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), to enable access to high-quality treatments for people in war-afflicted parts of the Middle East.

Earlier this year, they exported their first consignment worth around £50,000 of British manufactured medicines to Iraq where many people cannot access, or afford, adequate treatment for many chronic illnesses. CurePharma has since expanded its operations to include further countries in the Middle East.

Their aim is to improve the quality of many people’s lives by making these medicines available, and also to play a role in boosting the UK economy by stimulating demand for British medical products in Iraq and throughout the Middle East, becoming a link between UK manufacturers and overseas consumers. In 2017 CurePharma joined the Northern Powerhouse Trade Mission to the Arab Health healthcare exhibition in Dubai.

Mustafa, who is the director of the company, said: “The endorsement and recognition we got through the Duke of York awards has had a great impact on CurePharma both nationally and internationally. It will give us more credibility and help us open new doors with British companies and distributors in the Middle East. We had a great response in the Middle East market for British products, which was beyond our expectations. We are aiming to collaborate with more British companies and introduce their products to the Middle East, helping to boost the UK economy by stimulating demand for British products in that region. We are already working with a number of new British companies to help them to exhibit at Arab Health in Dubai next year”.

Mohammed, business Development manager, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been nominated by the University for the Duke of York Awards. This recognition has given us even more determination to press ahead and expand our business. We feel the recognition from HRH The Duke of York, who showed great interest in our concept and offered to help us through his contacts, will empower us to further expand to cover the entire Middle East and Northern Africa."

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