British entrepreneur and founder of the Coffee Republic chain.Sahar Hashemi is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. She was the first to bring New York style coffee culture to Britain when she launched her Coffee Republic chain. After building a highly successful brand with 110 bars and a turnover of £30million she moved on to do the same with sugar free candy. Now Sahar Hashemi shares her experience and enthusiasm with audiences both as a speaker and as an inspirational author of 2 highly successful business books.Author of the best selling business book Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table and Switched On.Sought after motivational speaker.OBE and one of Management Today’s 20 most powerful women in Britain.Informal advisor to the British Government.Topics covered include Entrepreneurial behaviour isn’t just for start-ups, Anyone can do it, What next – keeping the start up culture alive, Building creative environments, InnovationSpeaking Style; Sahar Hashemi has a talent for connecting with her audience – she talks with passion about being an unlikely entrepreneur and the importance of being authentic and loving what you do.Read Sahar's Full Bio to find out more...
Sahar Hashemi spotted a gap in the market back in 1995 and led the way in bringing American-style coffee shops to the UK – a revolution which has led to a coffee outlet on every corner. A lawyer by profession, she gave up her career to pursue her dream and along with her brother turned Coffee Republic into a high street brand with a turnover of £30m. Famously, the Hashemis’ business plan was rejected 19 times by the banks before they finally secured funding for their concept - so she knows a lot about persistence.
After leaving the company in 2001 she launched the sugar-free confectionery brand Skinny Candy which she also sold on.
The Coffee Republic story was turned into a best-selling business book and is now the 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson’s. Her most recent book, Switched On (2010) focuses on 8 habits that foster a more entrepreneurial mindset. Based on her experience of what happens when a small entrepreneurial company becomes successful, she looks at the transformation in culture that can sometimes allow bureaucracy to creep in and take over.
Sahar Hashemi is much in demand as a speaker and advisor and has been lauded with accolades and praise. In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to give informal advice to the government. She was named as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers by Director Magazine and in 2012 she was awarded an OBE.
She has been listed as: 100 Most Influential Women in Britain, Daily Mail Top 35 Women in British business under 35, Management Today 20 most powerful women in Britain and named 'Young Global Leader' by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
She currently sits on the Consumer Council of EON UK Plc.
She speaks at around 70 events a year worldwide to companies including IKEA, Infosys, Accenture, GlaxoSmithKline, Microsoft and IBM.
“Sahar’s passion for innovation energises a room – it’s the equivalent of a double espresso from the coffee chain she co-founded”
London Innovation Forum
“Speakers included the former Prime minister of Spain but Sahar Hashemi stole the show”
IAA World Advertising Conference
“The impact you had on everyone’s mind set. This was very visible the next day – the audience had a real can do spirit”
NHS – Chief Health Professional Officer