Keynote Speaker Sahar Hashemi

Sahar Hashemi: What if your morning coffee could change lives?

Co-founder of Coffee Republic and author of bestseller Switched On, Sahar Hashemi has begun a new venture, the social project CHANGE PLEASE COFFEE, empowering homeless people with the skills, equipment and speciality beans they need to become fully-fledged baristas. By providing professional training and support with housing and bank accounts, giving people the opportunity to turn their lives around.

Sahar Hashemi co-founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain, and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with a turnover of £30m. Giving up her career as a lawyer in London, she staked everything on a dream – and made Coffee Republic one of the main early players in the ‘coffee revolution’.

Supported by the Big Issue, CHANGE PLEASE is a social enterprise that provides employment opportunities for the homeless in London.

Every barista who enters the programme is provided with housing, training, and support throughout the course and will be paid London living wage. After six months, they will be ready to move onto other employment opportunities.

The initiative employs baristas from various walks of life so long as they are committed to learning under the guidance of our lead baristas and are looking to turn their lives around.

Watch a case study:

To visit the CHANGE PLEASE website, click here.

Or to read Sahar Hashemi’s speaker profile, click here.