Sahar Hashemi

Picture: Sahar Hashemi

Occupation: Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert

Field(s) of expertise: Innovation, leadership, branding, customer service

Language(s): English

The future is all about being entrepreneurial in the employee context. Don’t fear failure, fear complacency!

Sahar Hashemi, a former lawyer, founded Coffee Republic together with her brother. The UK’s first coffee bar chain in US style evolved into one of the UK’s most known high street brands with a turnover of £30m. Coffee Republic became one of the first players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that converted the UK high street.

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Global Topspeaker Sahar Hashemi is an internationally recognized speaker, whose enchanting and uplifting keynotes combine her own exciting story with key subjects of entrepreneurial leadership, employee engagement and change management.

In 2001, Sahar left the management of Coffee Republic and released the bestselling book ‘Anyone can do it - building Coffee Republic from our kitchen table'. The book has been translated into 6 languages and is the 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson’s book. 

Sahar Hashemi started Skinny Candy in 2005 - a high profile brand of guilt-free sweets which she sold to confectionery corporation Glisten plc in 2007. 

Her latest book ‘Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it’ capitalises on establishing an entrepreneurial mentality for employees. Sahar says, ´The future is all about being entrepreneurial in the employee context. You need to bring your whole personality - not just the ‘professional’ you - to work. Move outside your comfort zone, ignite your innate creativity and forget the ‘this is how we’ve always done things’ mentality. Don’t fear failure, fear complacency. You need to see having fun as an essential part of professional success. Living and making a living should be the same thing.

In 2011 the Director magazine nominated Sahar Hashemi as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers, together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the innovator of the World Wide Web and Jonathan Ives, Vice-President of Design at Apple and designer of the iPod, just to name a few. It praised her view that, corporate minded talent shouldn't have to leave great 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 also asked to accede to the Entrepreneurs Forum initiated by UK Business Minister Vince Cable to give advice to the government regarding enterprise and business policies. In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list ´for services to the UK economy and to charity`.

Sahar was called ‘Pioneer to the life of the nation’ by Her Majesty The Queen and Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos. She was also named one of 100 most influential women in Great Britain by Daily Mail and 35 top women in UK's business by Management Today. In a Shell Livewire survey regarding inspirational ideals Sahar was among the top 5 along with James Dyson and Dame Anita Roddick.

By telling her very personal story, the native speaker Sahar sets a connection with the audience on an emotional level and illustrates lively the passion, decisiveness and open mindedness needed for success. She defines the Habits that are the cornerstone of Switched On and arouses the audience with a ‘can do’ spirit and the right tools and habits to ‘make it happen’.

More Speeches

  • The Switched On Mindset - Igniting Creativity and innovation
  • Entrepreneurial Leadership - Encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour in a corporate environment
  • Customer Service - Stepping Into the Customer’s Shoes
  • Branding - Understanding True Brand Value
  • Embracing Change - Working Outside your Comfort Zone
  • Diversity

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Participant Comments

"Sahar Hashemi has done a very good job. She has demonstrated and explained the principles of entrepreneurship at a good pace and convincing authentic occurrence. Her examples and the nature of her presentation were well received by our 45 European executives".

Walter Kleine / General Logistics Systems B.V. / Corporate Human Resources

„We were having a fantastic annual conference on Friday – that is

until Sahar 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

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