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Sahar Hashemi understands entrepreneurial behaviour to the core. Giving up a highly professional job as a lawyer in London, she started two ground-breaking businesses: the UK’s first coffee bar chain, Coffee Republic, which grew to 110 stores and a £50 million market cap, and Skinny Candy, a market segmentdefining brand of sugar-free sweets.
Hashemi's first book ‘Anyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic – 57 Real Life Laws on Entrepreneurship’ became a bestseller by demystifying the idea that entrepreneurship is an innate trait. Her latest book ‘Start-up Forever’, stems from her experience working with large corporations over the last decade and addresses one of the most pressing questions now facing large organisations: how to be more entrepreneurial.
Her mission is to connect the heart as well as the head in big business and distil the unnecessarily complex subject of innovation and entrepreneurial behaviour down into simple, actionable and human terms.
Sahar Hashemi believes what makes start up culture different from corporate culture isn’t the stereotypical foosball tables and company hoodies, it’s the special connection start up employees have with the business they work in and the customers they serve. They feel a deeper, more authentic sense of purpose and being part of a greater whole, that brings out their creativity, resourcefulness and problem-solving ability. This enables them to accomplish extraordinary things, often against all odds which feeds back into the culture to foster even greater commitment and better performance.
This special connection isn’t limited to start-ups, big companies can develop this culture too. Sahar Hashemi believes it’s just about subtle shifts in behaviour and mindset. That’s why her perspective is unique. Her message isn’t just theoretical, Sahar has been-there-done-that, and her actionable, common sense advice is relayed through her deeply personal story. By connecting with the audience through the heart, not just the head, she is able to bring about real, long-lasting change.
Sahar Hashemi was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity, named by Director magazine as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers, named Pioneer to the life of the Nation by HM The Queen and Young Global leader by the World Economic Forum.
"Sahar Hashemi succeeds in reconciling the brain with the heart through common sense, thereby providing a toolkit to foster, build and maintain the entrepreneurial culture which established big companies need to survive in today’s world.”
Bob Kunze-Concewitz, CEO of Campari Group
“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."
“Sahar Hashemi has a gift for storytelling. These pages radiate the warmth and humour with which she has passionately spoken so many times about her own experiences as an entrepreneur and subsequent conversations with ‘big business’. There’s an oversupply of frameworks and tools at the disposal of the 21st century ‘intrapreneur’, but this common-sense canter through 10 habits and no less than 34 small but significant ‘shifts’ is a well-crafted wake-up call to the dormant entrepreneur in all of us. Inspiring, human, humble. Just like the author.”
Carl Nagel, Global Marketing Innovation Director, Jacobs Dowe Egberts