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 a turnover of £30m. Giving up highly professional jobs, she a lawyer in London and he 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 a nation of tea drinkers into one obsessed with 'triple decaf half-caf lattes'.
Sahar left the day to day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and wrote a book called 'Anyone Can Do It - Building Coffee Republic from our Kitchen Table' which tackles some of the fears and answers some of the elusive questions about what it really takes to become an entrepreneur. It's a personal story about two people who stopped 'thinking about it' and 'did it'. 'Anyone Can Do It' reached #1 on the Amazon business chart and is the second highest selling book on entrepreneurship ever published in the UK.
In 2005 Sahar Hashemi founded Skinny Candy, a brand of guilt free sweets, again from her kitchen table, inspired by her sweet tooth. Skinny Candy quickly become a hit with fashionistas, named 'hip confectionary brand' by Vogue, on the Vanity fair A list and hailed by glossy magazines from Tatler to Grazia. She secured distribution with Waitrose, Holland & Barrett, Topshop and Selfridges before in was sold to confectionery conglomerate, Glisten plc in 2007.
Her latest book 'Switched On' came about after requests from many of her speaking clients. She has now forged a successful career as a business motivational speaker, talking to international blue chip companies and conferences about innovation, creativity, branding and the entrepreneurial mindset, she found that she could apply the learnings from her experiences in the business world and her first book, Anyone Can Do It, to the corporate sphere. That entrepreneurs and employees were not in fact two separate species but, if operating effectively and with focus, shared many similar traits.
Sahah was awarded an OBE in the 2012 Queen's Birthday Honours list. The award was for “services to the UK economy and to charity”.
An internationally recognised business motivational speaker, Sahar Hashemi's captivating and uplifting speeches are unique as she converges her own enthralling 'story' with key themes of change management and employee engagement.
By telling her very personal journey, she connects with the audience on an emotional level and brings to life the passion, determination and open mindedness needed to succeed. She makes a strong impact, igniting the audience with a 'can do' spirit and the tools and habits to 'make it happen'.
Sahar Hashemi Speaking Topics:
• The Switched On mindset- igniting creativity and innovation in organisations
• 8 Habits for a Switched On mindset
• Anyone Can Do it - awakening the entrepreneur within
• Life outside the comfort zone - An entrepreneur's journey
• Entrepreneurial Leadership
• Standing in the Customer's shoes
• Anyone Can Do it - The journey of turning an idea into a business
Sahar Hashemi took her audience on a 30-minute ride-taking them through a heart-tugging and sincere tale of how she made it big in business... Her story was a little like the Alchemist, and the audience wouldn't stop clapping even after she stepped down from the stage.
We were having a fantastic annual conference on Friday – that is until Sahar Hashemi arrived and then it just went onto 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!
It is always inspirational to hear the story from someone who has really pursued their dream and made it come true, particularly in such a down to earth fashion.
your energising talk on the necessity of passion to drive business growth was inspiring for everyone... I overheard the audience quoting 'leap and the net will appear' for days afterwards! Needless to say our expectations were surpassed.
The impact you had on everyone's mindset: This was very visible the next day - the audience had a real “can do” spirit. This was most evident when one speaker caused a significant reaction from the audience by being pessimistic and resistant to trying anything new or different. I do hope you appreciate what an impact you made and I thank you once again!
If every leader in corporate life had the drive, determination and sheer courage of Sahar Hashemi, businesses would be in an even better place. Sahar is an amazing entrepreneur, and her lessons are absolutely relevant no matter what business you are in.
Judging by the feedback that we have received, it seems as though the 'Switched On' presentation was very well received - certainly hit the spot in terms of how people in the Group would like to work smarter.
Sahar's passion for encouraging innovation energises room. It's the verbal equivalent of a double espresso from the Coffee Republic chain she co-founded
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