Lawyer turned entrepreneur, Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic in the 1990s with her brother. Staking everything they had on what just seemed to be a dream, they built the business into one of the UK's most recognised high street brands - and the UK's first US style coffee bar chain - with a turnover of £30 million.
Coffee Republic became one of the main players in the 'coffee revolution' that transformed Britain from a nation of tea drinkers into a nation hooked on 'triple decaf half-caf lattes'! They set the pace and the drive and in their wake there followed a myriad of multinational coffee-based cafes. In 2005, Sahar launched a new company, Skinny Candy, a confectionary company whose products include low-fat, low-calorie sweets. In 2007, she sold 50% of Skinny Candy to Glisten plc.
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 a Kitchen Table, which tackles some of the fears and answers some of the elusive questions about what it really takes to become an entrepreneur in a rapidly developing market. This was followed in 2010 by Switched On (published by John Wiley), which extends Sahar's ideas to include intrapreneurship, the business management style that embraces risk-taking and innovation approaches.
Sahar is a supporter of The Princes Trust, donating a portion of royalties of Anyone Can Do It to the youth charity. She also sits on the NSPCC Corporate Development Board and is a Patron of Child Bereavement UK. She fronted a government campaign in 2004 for Skills for Business to encourage employers to develop staff skills
Sahar inspires international business audiences with her unique story. To book her as a Business Speaker, After-dinner Speaker or Motivational Speaker, contact a Prime Performers Booking Agent via the online booking enquiry form or alternatively call 020 7251 8222 for further information.
- Michael is a wonderful speaker who appears on This Week with Andrew Neil and presents the Great British Railway Journeys and Great Continental Railway Journeys for BBC2.
- Adventurer, natural history TV Presenter, public speaker and author.
- Former British Foreign Secretary who speaks confidently on The Politics of Intervention: from the Gulf War via Bosnia and Kosovo to Iraq.
Lord Douglas Hurd