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Two York business women have received the official endorsement of Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis at a national event.

Theo honoured Wendy Harris, owner of PQ Soy Wax Candles and Laura Clarke, owner of Where Bluebirds Fly for their impressive entrepreneurship.

He met the women at the Small Business Sunday (SBS) annual event in Birmingham, also attended by John Roberts, founder of ao.com, and Kypros Kyprianou, CEO of Ryman.

During 2017 both Wendy and Laura had independently tweeted Theo about their respective businesses during Small Business Sunday.

Both were chosen as one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers.

Best of the best

The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, supports small businesses in the UK.

Since then more than 329K businesses have entered #SBS with only 2K winners. Wendy and Laura are among the elite 0.68% to be chosen.

As a result they were invited to attend Small Business Sunday to be presented with certificates and have their photo taken with Theo.

Using their Yorkshire charm the women also managed to get a joint photo with Theo too – who dubbed them ‘York girls on tour, ready to take over the world’!

Wendy and Laura agreed that it was a complete shock when they saw their re-tweets.

Few are chosen by Theo

“It was great to have support from Theo because it’s been tough trying to raise my business profile and raise a family,” Wendy said.

Laura added: “Theo’s passion for small businesses was evident at the event which was just wonderful.”

Both are looking forward to what the next year will have in store for them.

Chairman of Ryman Stationery, Robert Dyas and Boux Avenue, Theo 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.”