A business which raises money for dog rescue centres has recently won the ‘Small Business Sunday’ award, in a competition run by retail tycoon Theo Paphitis, after it raised £11k for 35 dog rescue centres.
DoggyLottery was co-founded by Lisette van Riel and her cousin Lee Brown at the start of the pandemic last year after she lost her job.
Van Riel said the idea was formed after she saw how rescue centres were “struggling” during lockdown.
She was one of six people to win the award after she tweeted Paphitis about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’, and gained a retweet by the business owner to his 500,000 Twitter followers.
According to van Riel, DoggyLottery has gained a huge amount of new followers and sold extra tickets for their lottery “raising valuable funds for dog rescue centres in need”.
Paphitis, who is the owner of stationery chain Ryman, the homewares specialist Robert Dyas and lingerie retailer Boux Avenue, set up the weekly online award back in 2010 to support and promote small businesses in the UK.
Lisette said: “We’ve only been in business for seven months and it was probably the most difficult year to start a business in.
“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.”
Small business champion Theo Paphitis, added: “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. The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish DoggyLottery every success.”