5 Sterne Redner

Sahar Hashemi

Entrepreneur & Innovation Expert
Innovation, leadership, branding, customer service

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.


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.

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.

In 2019 Sahar published her latest book “Start Up Forever”. In it she answers her most asked questions: How can we grow big but act small? How can we encourage innovative thinking and drive growth by finding different and new ways of doing things? As we face disruptive change, how can we be more agile? More resilient? Less stuck in our ways? How can I get my people to think out of the box? The ten shifts in her book are her answers to those questions. Sahar Hashemi discovered those solutions on her own entrepreneur journey. They are simple shifts in how to approach everyday work with an entrepreneurial mind-set. Together with day-to-day actions anyone can take this more entrepreneurial mind-set to work.

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. In her speeches Sahar outlines the habits that are basis of “Startup Forever” which encourage entrepreneurial behaviour in organisations of all types and sizes. These habits will make companies nimbler, more creative, more customer-centric, more resilient and a better place to work. She ignites the audience with a ’can do’ spirit and the 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
Keynote Speaker Sahar Hashemi