Meryem El hayani
‘If someone told me three years ago I’d become an entrepreneur, I’d have said "no way. Not me. You are kidding." Entrepreneurship was never even on my radar. But that was before I came to Regent’s, where the entrepreneurial spirit runs high.’
Meryem El Hayani chose Regent’s University London for her Masters in Management for two reasons; firstly, it had been recommended by her brother, who had a great student experience and felt the small classroom sizes and compact and secure campus would suit her. This was because she felt underconfident in her English skills and thought that a bigger campus with thousands of students would overwhelm her. This led her to the second reason she chose Regent’s – the opportunity to complete an English language course before her Masters began.
‘The four months studying English at the English Language Centre prior to my Masters really prepared me for the academic language of Regent’s as well getting to know the University, lecturers, meet some other students and find my way around. For anyone considering improving their English before their degree, I would really recommend studying at the language centre. I felt so much more confident in starting my Masters.’
In fact, Meryem’s English had excelled so much, she won two awards at the end of her programme; for her academic performance on the MA Management as well as CMI Student Excellent award. During her Masters, Meryem was encouraged by her lecturer to challenge herself and explore an area she’d always been interested in but never had the courage to pursue; becoming an entrepreneur.
‘I had the idea for my business 10 years ago, but I was too scared to follow up on it. I felt I didn’t have the skills or experience to become my own boss. My experience at Regent’s and the encouragement I received from faculty, staff, fellow students and alumni, allowed me to overcome that fear and take the first steps. I have never looked back.’
Meryem’s business, Hayani Ltd., imports Moroccan culinary argan oil to the UK with a focus on organic and ethically sourced products. She was one of the first entrepreneurs to join The Hive, Regent’s entrepreneurial support network. Despite COVID-19 causing bumps in the road, Meryem is more focused on her business than ever. ‘Regent’s has taught me so much and the community continues to support me every step of the way. I’m so grateful for all the encouragement I receive from everyone at Regent’s, it’s been an incredible personal journey for me.
Regent’s enabled me to develop all the skills needed to become a catalyst for change and prove that young Arab women are capable of bringing a positive difference to both business and society.’