These are turbulent times for all businesses and it’s a challenge to stay focused on the positives, particularly as an independent, when you can see established names failing all around you. You inevitably look for a voice of reason, the metaphorical light in the darkness of the turbulent high street and to someone who can navigate us through the challenges that are everywhere in this current climate of uncertainly. Step forward, Theo Paphitis, our BrandM.A.D.E. hero of the month. Best known for supporting a wide and varied range of businesses through BBC Two’s Dragon’s Den and developing many a high street staple (Ryman’s, Boux Avenue and the much missed La Senza). He puts his money where his mouth is and shares his insights, successes and failures in ways that many of his counterparts simply don’t have the guts to match.
Transparency is key with Theo, with honesty and integrity always at the forefront. Creating the Small Business Sunday online initiative to support and promote independent businesses that he liked and wanted to boost in profile has given thousands of people the chance to be seen on a far greater scale than they would have achieved without the support of such a high profile and well respected entrepreneur (or shopkeeper, as Theo prefers to call himself). As lucky recipients of this accolade ourselves, we can say first hand that this man does significantly more for small businesses than many hubs, incubators and initiatives do put together.
The speakers that he arranges for his yearly events are first class, the information discussed during Q&As is gold dust and he isn’t afraid to shock you into realising your potential. Hearing directly from the creator of many an international brand that bumps in the road are inevitable but navigation around them is possible will inspire and motivate even the most down on their luck business owner. This, plus knowing how to stack the odds in your favour and know when to walk away makes for a true BrandM.A.D.E. hero.