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Our keynote speaker Sahar Hashemi is a UK entrepreneur, who co-founded the coffee chain Coffee Republic as well as the confectionery brand Skinny Candy. In 2012 she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and has additionally been named to various power lists. She ignites the audience with a ‘can do’ spirit and the tools and habits to ‘make it happen’.
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Sahar Hashemi, a former lawyer, is an internationally recognized speaker. She inspires audiences with her captivating and moving speeches combining her own story with key themes of entrepreneurial leadership, change management and employee engagement. She co-founded Coffee Republic, the first US-style coffee bar chain in the UK with her brother. It became one of the first players in the ‘coffee revolution’ that transformed the UK high street, and became one of the UK’s most recognized high street brands with a turnover of £30m.
In 2001, the keynote speaker Sahar Hashemi left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic and published her first book “Anyone Can Do It” which became an international best-seller; it was the 2nd highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson’s book. Her most recent book ‘Switched On: 10 Habits to Being Highly Effective in Your Job, and Loving it ’ is creating an entrepreneurial mind-set for employees.
Sahar explains that, “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 addition to co-founding Coffee Republic, Sahar Hashemi also started Skinny Candy, a high profile brand of guilt-free sweets. She sold them to the confectionery conglomerate Glisten plc in 2007.
Our speaker Sahar Hashemi has been presented with numerous awards and titles. In 2011 she was nominated as one of the Top 10 Original Thinkers by Director Magazine, a title that individuals such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web and Jonathan Ives, Vice-President of Design at Apple and designer of the iPod also share. She was also invited to join the Entrepreneurs Forum set up by UK Business Minister Vince Cable to give advice to the government on enterprise and business policies. In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors list “for services to the UK economy and to charity”. She was additionally named ‘Pioneer to the life of the nation’ by Her Majesty The Queen and Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Furthermore she was named one of 100 most influential women in Britain by Daily Mail and 35 top women in British business by Management Today. She has been on the cover of Director Magazine, Observer Magazine, Management Today, Business 550, New Business Magazine and Voyager.
The sought-after speaker Sahar Hashemi delivers her very personal journey when speaking, and connects with the audience on an emotional level and brings to life the passion, determination and open mindedness needed to succeed. She ignites the audience with a ‘can do’ spirit and the tools and habits to ‘make it happen’.