Birmingham Network Wins BBC Dragon #SBS Award

2 February 2015

Birmingham based entrepreneur network, The Hot500, has received a #SBS Business Award created by Theo Paphitis, the multi-millionaire celebrity entrepreneur and star of the BBC Hit TV series, Dragon’s Den.

The #SBS (Small Business Sunday) Business award is an online award competition, created to give recognition to innovative small businesses in the UK. Every Sunday, businesses are invited to tweet Theo Paphitis directly with the difference that their business makes. Theo then personally chooses the businesses that he would like to join #SBS, his personal face to face and invite-only network of UK small businesses.

The Hot500 was selected for their passion and focus on providing a personal support group network for entrepreneurs. Founded in 2012 with no funding, loans or sponsorship by midland entrepreneurs Joel Blake and Gary Lennon, The Hot500 has become a peer to peer network of over 600 aspiring entrepreneurs and organisations, providing a monthly business event for entrepreneurs, business challenges for young people and delivering social impact activities for corporate firms.

Theo Paphitis states “I admire people who have passion and energy. My vision is that everyone who has ever won a #SBS re-tweet from me becomes part of a friendly club of like-minded individuals to share successes and learnings.”

Joel Blake, Co-Founder of The Hot500 and Birmingham Ambassador for Start Up Britain said “It is fantastic that someone like Theo Paphitis has championed our business in this way. Starting and growing your own business is a tough journey, but it feels great to see your endeavours and contribution being recognised along the way.”

The Hot500 are also in the beta phase of their new tech platform where business owners from any size and sector can build quality relationships with their own self-selected ‘digital boardroom’ of other business owners, potential funders and suppliers of business products and services.

For more information about The Hot500 visit, and to learn more about Small Business Sunday, visit

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