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Sahar Hashemi

Entrepreneur & Author

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”.

About the podcast

Business Leaders brings you extended one-to-one interviews with the key people in global business today.

Hosted by Paul Blanchard, you can step inside a new company and hear how the world’s top CEOs, founders and entrepreneurs are shaping the future of global business in the 21st Century.

Find out the secrets of their success; how they challenge the status quo, turn companies around and build some of the world’s most innovative businesses. Share their insights and find out what makes our most successful leaders tick.


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