Founder of Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US-style coffee bar chain
Best-selling and award-winning author, "Anyone Can Do It" (2001)
Named one of the "Most Influential Women in Britain" (Management Today)
“Your energising talk on the necessity of passion to drive business growth was inspiring for everyone…Needless to say our expectations were surpassed” – Infosys
Sahar Hashemi, a former lawyer, founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with a turnover of £30m. She made Coffee Republic one of the first players in the “coffee revolution” that transformed the UK high street. Sahar is an internationally recognised speaker, whose captivating and uplifting speeches combine her own enthralling story with key themes of entrepreneurial leadership, innovation, customer service, change management and employee engagement.
Sahar left the day to day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a best-selling book called “Anyone Can Do It – Building Coffee Republic From Our Kitchen Table”, which has been translated into 6 languages and is 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship on Amazon. In 2005 Sahar Hashemi started Skinny Candy, high profile brand of guilt-free sweets which she sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten plc in 2007.
Her second book “Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it” (2010), focuses on creating an entrepreneurial mindset for employees in large companies. Her next book, “Passionate Business: Creating a Successful Entrepreneurial Culture in Organizations”, will be published in August 2015.
In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Minister Vince Cable to give advice to the government on enterprise and business policies. That same year, Sahar was nominated by Director magazine as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers. In 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list “for services to the UK economy and to charity”. Sahar was also named “Pioneer to the life of the nation” by Her Majesty The Queen and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was also named one of 100 most influential women in Britain by the Daily Mail.
Sahar writes a regular management column for Business Strategy Review, published by the London Business School. She is a member of the Customer Council of E.On, the energy group, representing the voice of the customer at board level. She outlines the habits that are the cornerstone of “Switched On” and ignites the audience with a ‘can do’ spirit and the tools and habits to ‘make it happen’.
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