Sahar Hashemi

Entrepreneur & Author

Nov 28, 2018

New Thinking Leaders podcast

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Sahar Hashemi is the co-founder of Coffee Republic, the first chain of American-style coffee bars in the UK. She left behind a promising legal career in 1995 to launch the business from her mother’s kitchen table. When it sold six years later, it had 110 stores and a turnover of £30 million. She has since founded confectionery brand Skinny Candy, and her latest venture, Change Please, is a social project which trains and hires homeless people to run coffee carts. In this in-depth interview, she describes how businesses can succeed by encouraging staff to think like entrepreneurs, argues that success isn’t about the “big idea” that comes to you on a plate – and recalls the “stab in her heart” when Coffee Republic went into administration nine years after she “handed it to the grown-ups”.

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