Coffee Republic & Skinny Candy

Sahar Hashemi OBE

A former lawyer, Sahar started the UK’s first chain of coffee bars with her brother Bobby, building Coffee Republic to 110 stores and a £50 million market cap in five years. Later she founded market segment-defining sugar-free sweets brand Skinny Candy, selling it to confectionery conglomerate Glisten PLC in 2007.

Since moving on from her businesses, Sahar has worked to bring start up mindset to big companies facing relentless change and in need of more agility and innovation. Her most recent book Start Up Forever was named The Financial Times Best Business Book of the Month in March 2019.

In 2012 she was awarded an OBE for services to the UK economy and to charity. She has been named “Pioneer to the life of the Nation” by Her Majesty The Queen and Young Global leader by the World Economic Forum.