Founder of Coffee Republic & Entrepreneurial Speaker
Sahar Hashemi was the founder of Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US-style coffee bar chain, and popular choice of speaker on themes such as entrepreneurship and business start-ups.
With her brother Bobby, she gave up her career as a lawyer in London and staked everything on a dream and made Coffee Republic one of the leading players in the coffee revolution that transformed the UK high street.
It grew into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m.
Sahar left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a bestselling book Anyone Can Do It – Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table, and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.
Four years later she set up Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar-free sweets, which was then sold to Glisten PLC in 2007.
Her next book Switched On, was released in 2010 and focused on eight habits that foster a more entrepreneurial mindset for employees. It is based on her experience of the transformation in culture when a small entrepreneurial company becomes prominent and successful when the obvious and easy entrepreneurial habits are often forgotten as bureaucracy take over.
In 2011 she was invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to give informal personal advice to the government on enterprise policies and a year later was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and charity.
Sahar Hashemi is a recognized thought leader and speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship. Her keynote subjects include –
• Entrepreneurial Behaviour
• Innovative Thinking
• Customer Service – Stepping inside your Customers minds.
• Persistence – Trial and Error should be encouraged
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
“Reactions to your talk yesterday were unanimous, a lot of the people said it was the best part of the day”
— LinkedIn Talent Conference
“For the 6th year running, Sahar was a great success at our workshop. She did an excellent job of taking on our brief about ‘brand’ and converging it with her own story. The result was fantastic and hit all the right notes.”
— INTER IKEA SYSTEMS
“she was bang on in terms of experience, background and messaging. she hit the nail on the head in terms of content and relevance.”
“Sahar went down an absolute storm.”
— THOMSONS ONLINE BENEFITS
unsurprisingly and ungratifyingly, feedback was excellent.”
— PMI Annual Conference
“You were mind blowingly marvelous.”
— INNOTOWN Norway
“That is a huge gift you have, to be able to open people’s minds in that way, believing they can do it, and giving them the tools on how to do it.”
— SCHIBSTED MEDIA
“Speakers included the former Prime minister of Spain, but Sahar Hashemi stole the show.”
— IAA World Advertising Conference