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Haverhill businesswoman benefits from former Dragons Den star's backing

A firm launched by a Haverhill woman three years ago has received a business boost from retail entrepreneur and former Dragons Den star Theo Paphitis.

Melanie Fielden, owner of Pioneer Chicks tweeted Theo about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ (SBS) and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by him to his 500,000 Twitter followers.

The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has over 2,500 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Melanie Fielden (left) and Danni Faulkner, from Pioneer Chicks, with Theo Paphitis. Contributed picture
Melanie Fielden (left) and Danni Faulkner, from Pioneer Chicks, with Theo Paphitis. Contributed picture

Theo retweeted Melanie’s message to his almost 500,000 followers and as a result, Pioneerchicks.com has over 300 more followers and extra bookings for their business meets and events for ambitious small business owners.

They are also profiled on the #SBS website (www.theopaphitissbs.com) that is exclusive to all Small Business Sunday winners.

Melanie started Pioneer Chicks to help women develop a host of skills and their confidence in business, entrepreneurship and personal and professional development.

She said: “I’ve spent the past three years building Pioneer Chicks from scratch in the evenings and weekends, around a day-job in my father’s business.

“The income from my day job has been the sole financial input for the business, allowing me to hire extra help in managing the social media marketing, which is how we’ve grown the brand so far.

“It is great to have support from Theo because it’s been tough trying to raise our profile and Theo has recognised our hard work and helped spread the word about what we do to his following.”

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 Pioneer Chicks every success.”

Anyone looking for a retweet from Theo should tweet him about their business on Sunday between 5pm and 7.30pm and include the hashtag #SBS.

Six lucky businesses are retweeted every Monday at 8pm and then invited to enter their profile on the new website, attend the annual #SBS networking event and take advantage of the networking opportunities.

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