Founder, Coffee Republic and Skinny Candy; Non-Executive Director, Scale Up Institute; Best-Selling Author
Described as “a change agent” and “a powerful catalyst to drive entrepreneurship within big corporations”, Sahar Hashemi offers a simple, powerful toolkit to unlock start-up culture at big companies. A former lawyer, she started two ground-breaking businesses: the UK's first coffee bar chain, Coffee Republic, which she grew to 110 stores and a £50 million market cap, and Skinny Candy, a market segment-defining brand of sugar-free sweets.
Her first book, Anyone Can Do It, became a bestseller by demystifying the idea that entrepreneurship is an innate trait. Her latest, Start Up Forever, stems from her experience working with large corporations over the last decade and addresses one of the most pressing questions now facing large organizations: how to be more entrepreneurial.
Named by Her Majesty the Queen as a “Pioneer to the life of the nation” as well as an OBE for services to the economy and to charity, her mission is to connect the heart as well as the head in big business and distil the unnecessarily complex subject of innovation and entrepreneurial behavior down into simple, actionable, and human terms.