Sahar Hashemi OBE
Sahar Hashemi OBE‘s Biography
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’.
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, which has been translated into several languages and is the second highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Sir Richard Branson’s book.
Sahar was nominated 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 and one of the 35 Top Women in British business by Management Today.
In 2005 Sahar started Skinny Candy, a high profile brand of sugar free sweets which she sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten Plc in 2007. Her most recent book Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it was published in 2010.
In 2011 Sahar was nominated by Director magazine as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers, alongside individuals such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Sir Jonathan Ives, Vice-President of Design at Apple and designer of the iPod. It praised her view that, “entrepreneurially minded talent shouldn’t have to leave large corporations in order to achieve fulfilment. Entrepreneurial behaviour, including ideas like bootstrapping, prototyping and celebrating failure, can help turn stuffy corporations into creative environments. They can also transform automatons into valued, engaged employees”.
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. She currently sits on the Consumer Council of EON UK.