Wakefield dog lover celebrating after receiving the seal of approval from Dragon's Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis

A Wakefield business woman is celebrating after receiving a certificate from Dragon's Den entrepreneur Theo Paphitis.

By Leanne Clarke
Friday, 4th March 2022, 9:53 am
Updated Friday, 4th March 2022, 9:54 am

Lisette Van Riel runs DoggyWarriors, an organisation that aims to change dogs’ lives by raising money for dog charities in need.

She met Theo and was presented with her certificate at his Small Business Sunday winners’ event at the ICC in Birmingham where she joined 1,000 small business owners.

Small Business Sunday is a weekly initiative set up by Theo Paphitis in 2010 and it now has more than 3,500 winners within its supportive community.

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Lisette Van Riel and Theo Paphitis.

Lisette said: “The event was magical. Receiving this recognition from such an influential entrepreneur is so important to a small business like mine. The exposure it offers is unsurpassed and it helps me stand out from the competition.

“Especially as there have been hundreds of stories about people in the pet industry making a difference so it’s amazing to have been chosen by Theo.”

During the pandemic, the dog population went from 9.5 million to 12.5 million according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.

The increase of dogs has also seen an increase of dog abandonment, which is putting a bigger strain on dog rescue centres.

Lisette, from Ackworth, has raised over £48,000 for dogs in need through her charity lottery and online shop.

Theo Paphitis 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.

“The website will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Lisette and DoggyWarriors every success.”

To find out more about DoggyWarriors, visit www.doggywarriors.com.