RETAIL dragon Theo Paphitis has been inspired by a local public speaking training company in Swindon.

The former star of the hit BBC 2 series Dragon’s Den, and main shareholder in retail brands Robert Dyas and Rymans, chose Open Dawes Training as one of the winners for his Small Business Sunday competition.

The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, asks small businesses to tweet him with a description of their business and he chooses his favourite with a retweet that day.

Chris Dawes, the managing director of Open Dawes tweeted Theo about his business during Small Business Sunday, saying: “By overcoming nerves and 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 at the 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.

“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, held this week in Birmingham, which approximately 700 #SBS past and present winners are expected to attend.

He 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.”

Theo said: “ 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.”