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BBC dragon gives recognition boost to Swindon business

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Chris DawesChris DawesPublic speaking and presentation training company Open Dawes Training has received a business boost from retail entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den dragon Theo Paphitis.

Open Dawes’s MD Chris Dawes tweeted Theo about his business during Small Business Sunday and was one of six weekly winners. The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has more than 2,500 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Chris’s standout Tweet to Theo, which caught his eye, was: “By overcoming nerves & building a career as a sports commentator I have been inspired to coach others in public speaking skills - helping them to remove limits and 'open doors' in both their personal and professional lives.”

Open Dawes Training runs CPD accredited public speaking and presentation training in groups and for individuals, either inhouse or at Open Dawes’s head office training centre at Groundwell Industrial Estate in Swindon. Chris is also a motorsports commentator, and was recently voted the second favourite in the country, in a national poll.

Business and retail entrepreneur and self-confessed shopkeeper, Theo retweeted the Open Dawes message, putting the Swindon business in front of 500,000 followers. The company is now also profiled on the #SBS website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

“I was totally bowled over to be among six out of thousands to have my message retweeted by Theo,” said Chris. “It’s great to have Open Dawes Training recognised in this way, by such an inspirational and successful entrepreneur.”

Once a year Theo invites all of the #SBS winners to join him at an event. This year’s event takes place on February 12 in Birmingham, which approximately 700 #SBS past and present winners are expected to attend.

Among various initiatives and the networking that takes place at the event, Theo also hands out a certificate to each #SBS winner. The event is also a great opportunity for #SBS winners to talk to the #SBS sponsors who are dedicated to assisting #SBS businesses.

Chris added: “It will be invaluable to both my business and me personally to meet with him and other inspirational leaders next week, with all of their advice and support, in addition to the formal recognition of Open Dawes Training on the day.”

Small business champion and Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue chairman, Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK.

"My vision is that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club; like-minded individuals who can share successes and learnings.

"The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Open Dawes Training every success.”