Founder, Coffee Republic
Sahar Hashemi founded Coffee Republic, the UK’s first US style coffee bar chain with her brother and built it into one of the UK’s most recognised brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m.
Sahar left the day-to-day management of Coffee Republic in 2001 and published a bestselling book Anyone Can Do It – Building Coffee Republic from Our Kitchen Table, translated into 6 languages and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.
In 2005 she founded Skinny Candy, a brand of sugar-free sweets, labeled hip by Vogue magazine. Skinny Candy was sold to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.
In 2011 Sahar was nominated by Director magazine as one of its Top 10 Original Thinkers, alongside Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Jonathan Ive. In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity.
In 2017, Sahar was appointed as the co-chair of UK Government's The Scale-Up Taskforce alongside Small Business Minister Margot James.
Sahar is also back in the coffee world with Change Please Coffee, a brand that recruits staff from local homeless shelters, hires them as baristas to run their coffee carts around London.