Dragon’s Den star accolade for two town social media businesses

Kirstie Cracknell receiving an award for Suffolk Media Solutions from Theo Pathitis Picture: KIRSTI

Kirstie Cracknell receiving an award for Suffolk Media Solutions from Theo Pathitis Picture: KIRSTIE CRACKNELL - Credit: Archant

Two businesses from one small Suffolk town have gained hundreds of new Twitter followers after receiving an accolade from celebrity retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.

Saxmundham-based Suffolk Media Solutions and Make Friends Club were among six weekly winners to be retweeted to his 500,000 Twitter followers - making them part of an elite group of 1% of businesses from more than 400,000 entries over 10 years.

Both scooped awards from the BBC Dragon's Den star at a ceremony in Birmingham.

MORE - Financial expert goes back to basics to teach 'short-changed' schoolchildren about moneyMake Friends Club website founder Gemma Scopes and Kirstie Cracknell, owner and founder of Suffolk Media Solutions, tweeted Mr Paphitis about their businesses and what they do during Small Business Sunday, a weekly initiative set up 10 years ago to support small firms.

Suffolk Media Solutions provides affordable social media management and content creation for small businesses, while Make Friends Club is an online community, working to beat the loneliness epidemic and help women make friends.

Kirstie Cracknell, a working mother, said, 'We have only been in business a year and I work from my home office. It's great to have the support from Theo because it's been tough trying to raise our own profile. We spend most of our time doing just that for other businesses and neglect our own. Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his following.'

Mr Paphitis, said his vision was that everyone who has ever won an #SBS re-tweet from him becomes part of a friendly club of like-minded individuals who can share lessons and successes.

'I wish Kirstie and Suffolk Media Solutions and Gemma and Make Friends Club every success,' he said.

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The awards event - held at the Birmingham ICC in February - included talks from Google, Mind Mental Health Charity, LinkedIn and BBC Dragon's Den entrepreneur Sara Davies who talked about her rise to TV Dragon.