Adeem Younis

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Adeem Younis
Born (1980-10-17) 17 October 1980 (age 42)
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
Known and Penny Appeal

Adeem Younis (born 17 October 1980) is an English-Pakistani entrepreneur, philanthropist, and humanitarian. He is best known as founder of digital matrimony platform and international humanitarian charity Penny Appeal.[1][2][3][4]

He is a founding board member of Penny Appeal USA[5] and also helped set up Penny Appeal South Africa, Penny Appeal Canada and Penny Appeal Australia.[6] He is a Founding Circle Member of the British Asian Trust[7] and was listed as one of Yorkshire's leading entrepreneurs by Insider Media in their "42 under 42" list of 2019.[8]

Early life and education[edit]

Younis was born to Pakistani parents in Wakefield, West Yorkshire on 17 October 1980. His father died when he was eight years old. He was raised by his mother and grandparents.[9] He attended Outwood Grange School and went on to study at Wakefield College where he maintained a close relationship upon graduation. The college nominated him for an Association of Colleges Gold Award for his achievements as an outstanding alumnus of the school.[10]

In late 2018, Younis announced that the charity he founded, Penny Appeal, had bought the Thornes Park campus in which he had studied and were transforming it into a new international headquarters for the charity.[11][12][13][14]

He received his bachelor's in Graphic Designing from the University of Leeds.[citation needed]

Younis funded his studies by founding his first business, GoWebPrint, at the age of 17 above the fast food shop where he worked part-time.[15] He went on to help set up a restaurant in Wakefield, which was renowned for its chocolate curry, before focusing his efforts on his humanitarian work and business.[16]


Younis is the founder and CEO of world's largest Muslim digital matrimony platform, It has over 2 million users registered with market penetration estimated at 52% of all British Muslims aged between 16 and 60.[17][18] The website was launched on 1 August 2000, and its headquarters is in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England.[9] As's founder,[19] Younis has helped facilitate over 100,000 Muslim marriages.[20][9]

Younis has said of his platform: "We make it very clear this is for people who are serious about getting married, and it is not some 'meet up' service... We’re not just facilitating marriages. It's a really liberating service, we help people and it’s a cornerstone to a society. Religion is bringing people together."[21]

Younis’ memoir, Small Change, Big Difference: The Penny Appeal Story was published on 12 April 2021 by Can of Worms Press.[22][23][24]

Charitable activities[edit]

Penny Appeal[edit]

In 2009, Younis founded Penny Appeal, a charitable organization working in over 52 countries and providing essential aid and welfare to those in the UK. It builds wells, orphan homes, and schools, and provides life-saving medical relief, nourishing meals and more. In the UK, Penny Appeal runs a fostering and adoption agency, funds a number of soup kitchens and food banks and supports refugee settlement. The two times Guinness World Records holding charity raised just over £100,000 in 2012.[25] In 2017, Penny Appeal's total turnover had exceeded over £22 million. The organisation has launched a sister domestic relief programme, demonstrating their commitment to begin charity at home.[26] The charity has helped an estimated 20 million individuals and raised over £60 million for good causes.[27] Penny Appeal has been recognized as largest provider of orphan care in The Gambia by its president.[28] The charity has enlisted a number of high-profile ambassadors including Amir Khan and Cat Stevens.[29]

Younis ran the London Marathon in aid of Penny Appeal's Thirst Relief campaign in 2017, 2018 and 2019, raising tens of thousands of pounds in the process.[30] In 2019, in celebration of the charity's ten years of operation, Younis appointed the first ever charity ‘Kid’ CEO, Shakira Rahman.[31] Younis met Rahman at Penny Appeal's Great Muslim Pantomime tour, was inspired by her "can-do" attitude and created a special role for her to contribute to the charity from the perspective of a child.[32]

Penny Appeal has been lauded for handling challenges to the leadership and governance of the organisation.[33] Former employees have described the organisation as being "the most unethical and Immoral organisation you will find".[34] The charity was shocked following allegations of abuse in one of their partner organisations working in the Gambia .[35] Penny Appeal has since instituted a range of organisational enhancements, however has confirmed that the Government of Gambia has dropped any case related to potential allegations. [36]

Penny Ventures[edit]

Younis is director and co-founder of Penny Ventures, which works in partnership with the James Caan Foundation.[3] Caan and Younis co-created Penny Ventures as an investment fund that supports budding entrepreneurs launch and grow new businesses.


Created in partnership with JustGiving, SalaamGiving is an online crowdfunding platform tailored for Muslim communities.[3] The platform was co-created by Younis and launched in 2018.[37]

Suspension from Penny Appeal[edit]

In September 2019, Younis was suspended from charity Penny Appeal after "serious issues" were brought to the attention of the Chief Executive and trustees.[38] In July 2020, Younis was reinstated in his board role within the charity after an investigation into allegations of misconduct found no wrongdoing.[39]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Younis was awarded Young Director of the Year by Yorkshire's Institute of Directors.[40] He was made an Ambassador by The Yorkshire Society owing to his success as an entrepreneur and awarded Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Business Awards 2017.[41] Also in 2017, Younis was decorated as the Natwest ‘Entrepreneur for Good’ in the 2017 Natwest Great Entrepreneurship Awards.[42] In 2018 he received Entrepreneur of the Year award at British Muslim Awards.[43] In the same year he received the ‘Charity Chair of the Year’ Award at the Third Sector Excellence Awards.[3] In 2019, Younis was awarded the 'Ummul Mu’minin Khadijah' Award for Excellence in Enterprise at the Muslim News Awards.[44]


  1. ^ Green, Lydia (10 December 2014). "Why millions of Muslims sign up for online dating". Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Majority of Muslims not for polygamy: Poll". The Express Tribune. 4 November 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Third Sector Awards 2018: Charity Chair of the Year - Adeem Younis, Penny Appeal". 21 September 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Third Sector Awards 2018: Charity Chair of the Year - Adeem Younis, Penny Appeal". 21 September 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Meet the Team at Penny Appeal USA". Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  6. ^ Worley, Thomas (29 November 2017). "Adeem Younis - Bond Humanitarian Award nominee". Bond. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  7. ^ "British Asian Trust - Transforming lives together". British Asian Trust. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Yorkshire 2019 42 under 42 Members | Insider Media Ltd". Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  9. ^ a b c Hussain, Tharik. "UK's leading Muslim matrimonial service eyes global market". My Salaam. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  10. ^ "21st century matchmaker wins AoC Gold Award". Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  11. ^ Laidler, Gill (20 November 2018). "Former student returns to buy Wakefield College site". Business Up North. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Mary joins Penny Appeal to celebrate their 10th anniversary". Mary Creagh MP. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Wakefield College - Adeem Younis". Association of Colleges. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  14. ^ "TopicUK Yorkshire Business Magazine February 2019". Issuu. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  15. ^ "How Adeem Younis played Cupid for thousand's of Muslim couples". British Muslim Magazine. 11 January 2019. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Wakefield College - Adeem Younis". Association of Colleges. 12 September 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Charity Chairman says 'I do' to pay for 100 weddings - TMV". 10 February 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  18. ^ "YP Profile: Adeem Younis,". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Tackling the taboos around dating for young British Muslims". ITV News. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  20. ^ "How dating apps are changing the game for Muslim millennials". Topics. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  21. ^ Buller, Alicia. "Meet the man who has played cupid for 100,000 Muslim marriages". Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  22. ^ TSB, Can of Worms Press (12 April 2021). "Small Change, BIG DIFFERENCE - The Penny Appeal Story". Can of Worms Press. Archived from the original on 30 January 2023. Retrieved 20 January 2023.
  23. ^ "Penny Appeal Founder Pens Memoir". Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  24. ^ Small Change, Big Difference The Penny Appeal Story. ASIN 1911673106.
  25. ^ "Charity Penny Appeal celebrates Ramadan by simultaneously breaking record and saving lives". Guinness World Records. 22 July 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  26. ^ "A new record! 33 British Muslims honoured in New Year's Honours list 2019!". Muslim Engagement and Development. 8 January 2019. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  27. ^ Worley, Thomas (11 February 2019). "Adeem Younis". Bond. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  28. ^ Worley, Thomas (29 November 2017). "Adeem Younis - Bond Humanitarian Award nominee". Bond. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  29. ^ "Mary joins Penny Appeal to celebrate their 10th anniversary". Mary Creagh MP. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  30. ^ "Single Muslim Adds Unicorn and Panda to #SingleMoji Campaign". Global Dating Insights. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  31. ^ "11-year-old 'Kid Boss' appointed as charity CEO for first time". East London and West Essex Guardian Series. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  32. ^ Siddique, Haroon (12 April 2019). "Meet Shakira, the 11-year-old mini-CEO of Penny Appeal". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Penny Appeal submit serious incident report to Charity Commission". 5Pillars. 11 October 2019. Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  34. ^ "Penny appeal glass door". Archived from the original on 14 May 2021.
  35. ^ "Wakefield charity 'horrified' by allegations of safeguarding issues at orphanage". Retrieved 14 May 2021.
  36. ^ "Gambia Statement - children safe and case has been suspended". Archived from the original on 2 September 2021.
  37. ^ "Penny Appeal Founder, Adeem Younis, wins "Charity Chair of the Year" Award". TopicUK. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  38. ^ "Adeem Younis suspended in Penny Appeal war". Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  39. ^ "'Integrity' of Muslim charity founder restored as investigation finds no wrongdoing". Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  40. ^ "Director of the Year Awards 2017 finalists announced – Director". Director Magazine. 13 July 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  41. ^ "In Pictures: English Asian Business Awards 2017". Asian Image. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  42. ^ "Double-award delight for Penny Appeal businessman". Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  43. ^ "British Muslim Awards 2018 winners". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  44. ^ "Winners of The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2019". The Muslim News. Retrieved 12 May 2019.

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