ENTREPRENEUR AND AUTHOR OF "ANYONE CAN DO IT"
Sahar Hashemi is a UK entrepreneur, who co-founded the coffee chain Coffee Republic as well as the confectionery brand Skinny Candy. In 2012 she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and has additionally been named to various power lists. She ignites the audience with a can do spirit and the tools and habits to make it happen.
Sahar Hashemi, a former lawyer, is an internationally recognized speaker. She inspires audiences with her captivating and moving speeches combining her own story with key themes of entrepreneurial leadership, change management and employee engagement. She co-founded Coffee Republic, the first US-style coffee bar chain in the UK with her brother. It became one of the first players in the coffee revolution that transformed the UK high street, and became one of the UKs most recognized high street brands with a turnover of £30m.
In 2001, Sahar left the day to day management of Coffee Republic and published her first book Anyone Can Do It which became an international best-seller; it was the 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Bransons book. Her most recent book Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it is about creating an entrepreneurial mind-set for employees.
In addition to co-founding Coffee Republic, Sahar Hashemi also started Skinny Candy, a high profile brand of guilt-free sweets. She sold them to the confectionery conglomerate Glisten plc in 2007.
Sahar has been presented with numerous awards and titles. In 2011 she was nominated as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers by Director Magazine, a title that individuals such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Jonathan Ives, Vice-President of Design at Apple and designer of the iPod also share. She was also 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. In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honors list for services to the UK economy and to charity. She was additionally named Pioneer to the life of the nation by Her Majesty The Queen and Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Furthermore she was named one of 100 most influential women in Britain by Daily Mail and 35 top women in British business by Management Today. She has been on the cover of Director Magazine, Observer Magazine, Management Today, Business 550, New Business Magazine and Voyager.
In March 2017, Sahar attended the 'Scale-Up Taskforce', an event which brings together entrepreneurs, investors and local bodies from across the country. and it was announced as part of the governments strategy to help small businesses thrive. The Minister for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in the UK government, Margot James, chaired the first meeting of a taskforce to help assess the barriers to growth facing UK businesses. Sahar is a passionate advocate of helping companies all sizes to scale up their business and using entrepreneurial attitudes to grow and compete. During the conference she contributed with valuable input by expressing her opinion concerning the capitalisation of entrepreneurial opportunities : 'We are already a start-up nation and now the opportunity is to become a scale-up nation by removing the barriers and creating an ecosystem to enable the entrepreneurs who had the grit and determination to start a business to capitalise on opportunities this new global networked world brings and grow their businesses to scale'.
She delivers her very personal journey when speaking, and connects with the audience on an emotional level and brings to life the passion, determination and open mindedness needed to succeed. She ignites the audience with a can do spirit and the tools and habits to make it happen.