Karen Sheppard with Theo Paphitis

At the end of February, Karen Sheppard, Managing Director of People First Mobility, attended an event at the ICC Centre in Birmingham for the weekly Small Business Sunday (#SBS) winners, run and attended by ex-Dragon’s Den star, Theo Paphitis.

Based in Lumley Square, Skegness, People First Mobility sells an extensive range of mobility products to customers in the East Coast. The retailer, which prides itself on its customer service, has won over 10 business awards in only five years, including being a winner of #SBS.

Small Business Sunday, shortened to the hashtag #SBS on Twitter, was created by Theo Paphitis in October 2010. The entrepreneur is best known for appearing on Dragons’ Den on BBC Two and is also the Chairman of Ryman Stationery, plus Boux Avenue lingerie, Robert Dyas and his latest acquisition, London Graphic Centre.

To enter #SBS, businesses must tweet Theo about their company on a Sunday evening. From the submissions, he then chooses six each week that stand out for various reasons and who have excelled in areas of their business.

“Every year I come away from the day buzzing and full of ideas for the business. For People First Mobility, being an #sbs winner has opened many doors for us and has given us opportunities we may not have had.” Karen Sheppard

The event at the ICC Centre brought together all 2256 #SBS winners since 2010, providing them with the opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest across different industries.

At the event, experts from companies such as 123reg, HP, Robert Dyas, Square, DHL, Ilaw, Ryman and Western Union were on hand for talks and to provide advice, as well as a special talk from Stephen Cheliotis from Superbrands.

Karen told THIIS: “The yearly event that Theo Paphitis arranges for the #sbs winners – of which out of all the entries he has received weekly, the winners equate to just 0.68{2b56f69eed902e060b0ece4e951518e78184250fd95605277e040c84763239be} – is always a fantastic day.”

The day also included a ‘fireside chat’ with John Roberts, the Founder of AO.Com, as well as Theo Paphitis, with time allocated to ask both business leaders questions.

“It is great for me to network with other businesses on the day, and many friendships are made along with lots of advice from how other businesses succeed,” she explained.

“The talk by Theo and getting to chat to him and ask questions and also the guest speakers, which this year was the founder of AO.com John Roberts and last year was the founder of JML products and Deborah Meaden, always leaves me star struck but full of motivation and inspiration.”

New this year, attendees also had the chance to speed date with marketing and brand experts and a chance to meet the experts one to one. Inspirational talks from other businesses were also held during the day.

“AO.Com started as a £1 bet in the local pub so proves how far you can go,” continued Karen.

“Having the opportunity to receive tips and advice is always invaluable in any business. To have ongoing support from a team of different sponsors of the event helps me to drive my business forward.

“Every year I come away from the day buzzing and full of ideas for the business. For People First Mobility, being an #sbs winner has opened many doors for us and has given us opportunities we may not have had.”

The website for the company is HERE

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