Dragon Den’s star and multi millionaire investor Theo Paphitis began a regular Sunday evening boost to small businesses nationwide with his Small Business Sunday (SBS) competition on Twitter back in October 2010. This has continued to grow with 6 new winners every Sunday.
Recently Theo invited all his winners to attend an inaugural gathering in Birmingham to celebrate their success and get to meet each other and to meet him.
Entrepreneurs from all over the country came together last Friday 30th March at Edgbaston Cricket club. The venue was sponsored by Ryman’s stationers who Theo is chairman of. This turned up to be a big event and a unique opportunity to bring different small businesses together in this way.
There was such a positive buzz around the place as businessmen and women eagerly awaited Theo’s arrival. Dragon Theo gave an inspirational talk on how he would use Sunday evenings as a time to reflect on the business week gone by and then plan and straegise for the next week so that he could "hit the road running". He realised that there must be many other businesses across the country in the same boat, and wanted to use his success and name to help boost those he felt were giving it their best shot but could do with a little boost. And so the monster now know at SBS was started.
Three of these businesses were from Herefordshire, Wiggly wigglers an award winning garden and eco friendly products company run by Heather Goringe represented by her husband Phil Gorringe; Saxtys Wines a popular bar and restaurant run by Tiggy Bagley and Edward Symonds & Rayeesa’s Indian Kitchen and authentic Indian Cookery School owner Rayeesa Asghar-Sandys.
“When Wigglys entered the SBS competition way back in 2011 we didn’t expect to win – let alone get chosen on our first entry by the man himself – Theo. It has been a great way to network with Small Businesses ever since and having been to the event last week and seen how the Small Business Sunday club will develop we are even more excited now than on the Sunday we won. Theo was a real inspiration.
Ed Symonds :
“The online wines business was a very new venture for us at the time of our ‘retweet’ from Theo. The fantastic event on Friday highlighted Theo’s commitment to helping small businesses, such as ourselves, and will hopefully continue to help build and expand what is a very exciting part of the Saxtys brand.”
“I was blown away with enormity of it all. It was a great privilege to be chosen by Theo and to be treated to such a dynamic event at no cost to us was astounding, thanks to Rymans. Theo is a great guy who doesn’t need to do this but he genuinely wanted to give small businesses like mine a chance to shine. He didn’t stop all afternoon, and even after all the individual photographs were done he remained chatting with us. I am so inspired to work harder and to build as successful a business as I possibly can”
A brand new website was also launched created by one of the SBS winners Metal Frog, which will allow all the winners to communicate and build their businesses further using this as a tool. www.theopaphitissbs.com
Theo says during his business talk ‘success is a bit of luck and lots of hard work” .
Theo shared with the 400 plus winners his journey to success and opened the floor to question time.
First to question Theo was Rayeesa, asking if the rumours that he might be moving to Hereford were true. He said that it was news to him, and Mrs P wouldn’t like that idea too much.
Theo presented each winner with their winners certificate and a photo which seeing how many were there was not a small job.
The event was not only a real tribute to Theo Paphitis and his team including Rymans Chief Executive Kypros Kyprianos, but to all those up and coming businesses throughout the UK.
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An authentic Indian Cookery school set in the heart of Herefordshire Countryside. Small groups are taught by Rayeesa in her 15th Century farmhouse kitchen how to cook delicious tasting authentic Indian food for themselves. Other services available see website for full details and upcoming classes. www.rayeesasindiankitcehn.com