A former lawyer, 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 high street brands with 110 bars and a turnover of £30m. She 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, which has been translated into 6 languages and is 2nd-highest selling book on entrepreneurship after Richard Branson.
In June 2012 Sahar was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity. and was listed in the Maseratti 100, the definitive list of 100 of Britain’s most successful philanthropists, investors, mentors and advisors, who are supporting the next generation of up-and-coming business talent.
She is currently co-chair of the Government Scale Up Taskforce and is actively involved in the roll-out of Change Please, a social enterprise that trains and hires homeless people to run coffee carts. She sits on the board of the Scale Up Institute and British Fashion Council Fashion Trust.