Sarah Willingham

After Dinner & Event Speaker (in association with SpeakOut)

Sarah Willingham is one of the newest Dragons on BBC's Dragons Den. She joins the Dragons for the 13th series along with founder, Nick Jenkins and fashion retail guru, Touker Suleyman.

Sarah prior to taking her seat in the Den is probably the best known female money saving and consumer champion in the UK. She is consumer expert for Sky News Sunrise where she gives the best advice to the consumer in her weekly 'Money Matters' slot on Wednesday mornings and she makes regular appearances on This Morning and Good Morning Britain on ITV and the Steve Wright show on Radio 2. 

Sarah also co-presents a new show on LBC radio, "The Money Hour", every Monday night from 9 till 10pm, covering all the financial issues that affect listeners on a day-to day basis, from mortgage rates, savings, loans and the cost of sending a child to university, to saving for a wedding and advice on how to get the best personal finance deals.


Sarah spreads the word via her new consumer facing website She has weekly money-saving columns in Best magazine and Closer magazine, regularly blogs for Daily Mail, Hello online and the Huffington Post and regularly writes features for Essentials magazine, The Lady and many other newspapers and magazines.

As a successful serial entrepreneur, known for turning the Bombay Bicycle Club into the largest chain of Indian restaurants in the UK, Sarah is also a founding director and investor in the London Cocktail Club, a successful chain of cocktail bars in central London, as well as being involved in a number of other food related businesses including promoting food from her home town as patron for 'The Taste of Staffordshire'.


Sarah is a popular speaker in the UK and internationally on topics including customer service, customer relations, financial services, Leadership and Teamwork, Business Turnarounds, Food, Restaurant/Retail/Leisure industries and Entrepreneurism.


She lives in the countryside with her Danish husband, Michael, and their four young children - Minnie, Monti, Nelly and Marly.


AWARDS 2006- 2014

Management Today and the Times - one of the "35 most successful women under 35" in the UK

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Business Weekly

Courvoisier Top 500

Who's Who in British Business Leaders



Money Matters on Sky News Sunrise

ITV's This Morning- Save with Sarah and Consume This with Sarah Willingham

Three series of BBC's The Restaurant

The Apprentice You're Fired, and the final, You're Hired

The One Show

Various radio programmes

The National Lottery

Home to Hotel BBC

The Big Deal ITV

To book Sarah Willingham, contact Emkay Entertainments Agency via Alternatively, speak to a booking agent directly on 01506 855 555.


We were having a fantastic annual conference on Friday - that is until Sahar arrived and then it just got went to another level! Her delivery was perfect and the similarities about what she achieved and what we at e.surv are looking to achieve really struck a chord with the audience".

"Sahar went down an absolute storm, Thomson's People absolutely loved her story and many, I know, feel inspired to leap!"
Thomsons Online Benefits

"the postcards we collected following your workshop 'Get out' clearly demonstrate that our team were genuinely excited by the prospect of stepping into the customers shoes.... Thank you for significantly contributing to our day"
CEO of David Lloyd

"Everyone in the room understood and took away the message that we are all responsible for the success of our business and that applying a more entrepreneurial approach will pay dividends not only in terms of revenue and profit but also the enjoyment that individuals gain from their work".
MD of Nycomed

"If every leader in corporate life had the drive, determination and sheer courage of Sahar, businesses would be in an even better place. Sahar is an amazing entrepreneur, and her lessons are absolutely relevant no matter what business you are in".
Karen Geary, Group HR Director, The Sage group PLC

''Your new book is engaging and spot on"
Dr Frank Mastiaux CEO E.ON Climate & Renewable

"Judging by the feedback that we have received, it seems as though the 'Switched On' presentation was very well received - certainly hit the spot in terms of how people in Group xxxx would like to work smarter. If you get the chance to send us a one pager on the "habits", then that would be great - we could all do with a reminder from time-to-time."
MD Barclays Bank

"She took her audience on a 30-minute ride- taking them through a heart-tugging and sincere tale of how she made it big in business.... Her story was a little like the Alchemist, and the audience wouldn't stop clapping even after Hashemi stepped down from the stage" Advertising Association World Conference,

'Sahar's passion for innovation energises the room. The equivalent of a double espresso....'
London Innovation Forum

"Your story inspired many last year and has become one of the most memorable sessions discussed with the MD's"
Head of Learning, NATWEST Branch Banking

"The impact you had on everyone's mindset. This was very visible the next day - the audience had a real "can do" spirit. This was most evident when one speaker caused a significant reaction from the audience by being pessimistic and resistant to trying anything new or different. I do hope you appreciate what an impact you made and I thank you once again."
Chief Health Professions Officer, Department Of Health

"It was the best speech of the conference.... Your speech not only kept audience glued to their seats but also drew the delegates in and held their attention... Please accept our thanks for delivering wonderful motivational speech."
Middle East HR Conference & Expo 2007 ,Dubai

"She was like a breath of fresh air"
Police Strategic Command Course

"You were mindblowingly marvellous"

'I came away with a spring in my step and a smile of my face'
RIM- Blackberry

"Sahar was a great success at our workshop in Stockholm. She did an excellent job of taking on our brief about 'brand' and converging it with her own story. The result was fantastic and hit all the right notes"

"Thank you for making Confluence 2008, Infosys' client conference, a huge success this year. Your energising talk on the necessity of passion to drive business growth was inspiring for everyone. From the "Expect to get 19 No's for anything worthwhile" story of the banker's loan to your upstart perspective with "Don't watch the competitor ahead of you watch the maverick behind you", your personal anecdotes for leveraging creativity and determination were great lessons. I overheard the audience quoting "Leap and the net will appear" for days afterward! Needless to say, our expectations were surpassed, and any conference organisers would be lucky to have you speak at their event in the future."

"Speakers included Former Prime Minister of Spain but the young woman, Sahar Hashemi, stole the show."
Advertising Age

"You were amazing. You scored 97 on evaluation forms - highest score ever."

"We had exceptionally positive feedback - she really struck the right note".
Boozallen Hamilton

"We have had many speakers address our audience of business owners - but the feedback after your story was exceptional."

"General Colin Powell was outstanding and Sahar Hashemi earned top marks on the evaluation sheets."
Yorkshire International Business Convention

"Your presentation was a total sell-out as even all your books were sold in half an hour!"
Global Leadership Forum Malaysia

"She connected with the audience at an emotional level and made a lasting impression ..." Microsoft

Extract from DIRECTOR February 2011
10 original thinkers, 10 big ideas to shape the UK's recovery Ideas are the building blocks of innovation. But they are also the tools with which we dismantle unfashionable models. And there is rarely a more fitting time to refresh old ways than after a recession, when good ideas can be an antidote to flagging fortunes. Ideas need champions.

Our 10 original thinkers have varying backgrounds and fields of interest, but they are all British, and they are all connected by a single ambition to redesign an established concept so that it fits the demands of the future, whether for the good of business, or society. From academics, such as Dr Rachel Armstrong, who believes architecture should mimic the natural environment it seeks to replace, to entrepreneurs such as Sahar Hashemi, who trusts in the capability of corporations to nurture future entrepreneurs, these are the original thinkers whose ideas will help shape Britain's recovery.

The list includes Jonathan Ives (Apple), Sir Tim Berners Lee, Philip Graves and Charles Leadbetter

Sahar Hashemi
Who? Co-founder of Coffee Republic and founder of Skinny Candy.

Big idea Large firms aren't fun places for creative people. Most corporations actively inhibit innovation, stifling creativity with a combination of process, silos and the quest for efficiency. But it's possible for employees to force change-as corporate entrepreneurs. Hashemi says entrepreneurially minded talent shouldn't have to leave large corporations in order to achieve fulfilment.

Entrepreneurial behaviour, including ideas like bootstrapping, prototyping and celebrating failure, can help turn stuffy corporations into creative environments. They can also transform automatons into valued, engaged employees. The comfort provided by a regular salary, company resources and colleagues to bounce ideas off is a platform for inspirational work, not a creative inhibitor.

In her own words
"Is it any coincidence that top management is often on the top floor? That's just about as far away from the customers as you can get."

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