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Sahar Hashemi Founder of Coffee Republic Business Motivational and Inspirational Speaker 

Sahar Hashemi is an internationally recognized thought leader and speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK's first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK's most recognised high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m. Giving up professional careers (she as a lawyer in London and Bobby as an investment banker in New York) they staked everything on a dream and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the coffee revolution that transformed the UK high street.

Sahar' Hashemi's presentations are unique, blending her story of building two famous brands with the key habits for innovation and creativity.  Through storytelling, Sahar is able to connect with audiences on an emotional level and bring to life her conviction that entrepreneurial behaviour is needed in every business.

Some of the messages weaved into her story are:

Entrepreneurial behaviour isn't for start-ups – it's for big organisations at every level

We all have creativity and the capacity to innovate within us (Habit: ANYONE CAN DO IT

Innovation isn't about genius tendencies: its just about finding a better way

We can't spot opportunities sitting tight in our comfort zone

Impersonating our customers (and not just relying on market research) gives us the best insights (Habit: STEP INTO CUSTOMERS SHOES)

Make sure you're not too busy for creativity (Habit: GET OUT OF THE OFFICE)

Sahar Hashemi is an internationally recognized thought leader and speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sahar Hashemi Founder of Coffee Republic Business Motivational and Inspirational Speaker 

Sahar Hashemi Founder of Coffee Republic Business Motivational and Inspirational Speaker 

Sahar Hashemi  founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m. Giving up professional careers (she as a lawyer in London and Bobby as an investment banker in New York) they staked everything on a dream and made Coffee Republic one of the main players in the coffee revolution that transformed the UK high street.

Sahar Hashemi  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 6 languages and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.

In 2005 she founded Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar free sweets, labeled hip by Vogue magazine. Skinny Candy was sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.

Her most recent book, Switched On, published in 2010, focuses on 8 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 big and successful, when the obvious and easy entrepreneurial habits are often forgotten as bureaucracy take over.

In 2011 Sahar Hashemi  was nominated by Director magazine as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers, alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Jonathan Ive. The magazine praised her view that “Entrepreneurially minded talent shouldn’t have to leave large corporations in order to achieve fulfillment. 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 Secretary Vince Cable to give informal personal advice to the government on enterprise policies.

She currently sits on the Consumer Council of EON UK Plc.

In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.

Sahar Hashemi Business leader and speaker on innovation and entrepreneurship. 


Sahar Hashemi'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
“For the 6th year running, Sahar Hashemi  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
Sahar went down an absolute storm”
THOMSONS ONLINE BENEFITS
Sahar Hashemi 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
“We were having a fantastic annual conference on Friday – that is until Sahar Hashemi  arrived and then it just got went to another level! Her delivery was perfect and the similarities about what she achieved and what we at e.surv are looking to achieve really struck a chord with the audience”.
E-SURV
“The impact you had on everyone’s mindset. This was very visible the next day – the audience had a real can do spirit”
NHS – Chief Health Professional Officer
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