Consumer-focused business, bricks & mortar retail and e-commerce
Coaching, judging, supporting GNVC and NVC candidates
Noura F.K. Abdullah, MBA ’08, is a successful serial entrepreneur and a dedicated supporter of aspiring entrepreneurs. She earned a bachelor of science in molecular genetics from Kings College in London and an MBA at the Chicago Booth. After spending several years in genetic research, she discovered her professional passion – furniture design. Seeing a large gap between the lower end budget-conscious brands and the high-end designer lines, Abdullah identified a market niche – blending the best of the West with Middle Eastern design elements to reach the middle-market consumer. In 2011, Abdullah founded Aura Living, a modern home fashion brand designed specifically for Middle Eastern shoppers, that combines international design styles and bespoke Aura-branded collections, providing modern collections to budget-conscious yet fashion-forward consumers. The company now has a chain of stores in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and has secured funding for growth in the Middle East and North Africa.
In 2018, Abdullah launched Leem, a company focused on redefining modest fashion for women. Taking inspiration from the latest runway trends to fit today’s modest woman, Leem stores have rapidly expanded throughout the Middle East with a total of seven retail stores, three concessions, and an international e-commerce platform.
Since 2011, Abdullah has served as a mentor and resource for business schools and investor associations in the United States. She has provided entrepreneurial coaching, judging, and support for MBA candidates participating in the Global New Venture Challenge at the University of Chicago. Abdullah has also delivered presentations on business development and innovation at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and presented at the Chicago Angels Network (CAN) pitch events.