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Two Yorkshire Businesses go from collaborators to head to head competitors in national Top 50 Business Advisors awards

Pamela Hopkinson (L) and Ellan Campbell-Swann (R) from The Same Boat

Two Yorkshire businesses have been named in Britain’s top 50 business advisers and now face going head to head in a public vote.

Ellan Campbell-Swann and Pamela Hopkinson, who collaboratively help local entrepreneurs with business advice and support, were picked from hundreds of advisers from around the UK. But it means that the collaborators have become competitors since they have both been shortlisted as Finalists in the same category.

Ellan, who runs Sixty7 PR Ltd from her home in Barnsley said: “Having spent many years working in and with small businesses, we both understand the many challenges they face to maintain their existence – add in Covid-19 and the challenge is immense.

“That’s why we joined forces, setting up a Facebook group when lockdown first hit and creating a weekly panel discussion on Zoom that we called The Same Boat, which gives lots of marketing tips and advice, and an opportunity for issues to be shared.”

Pamela, who runs Social Media Solutions Ltd in Barnsley, continued “We originally planned to run it for four weeks back in March, but it has grown legs and we’re not planning to stop anytime soon. Anyone can attend and it’s free – and by giving our time and experience, SME‘s have a better chance of survival and can drive the wider economic recovery.”

But the two entrepreneurs have been nominated and listed individually as finalists for the award in Enterprise Nations’s Top Adviser in the PR category.

“This is not ideal” said Ellan. “I’m listed as a finalist for Sixty7 PR Ltd, whilst Pamela is listed for The Same Boat. We’re both keen for The Same Boat to get the recognition it deserves, so I’m noble asking for people to vote for Pamela rather than me. I’m happy to have made it as a finalist, but we’re in this together and it is more important for our collaborative project to make it into the Top Ten in the whole Britain.”

The Top 50 Adviser Awards are run by small business network Enterprise Nation, one of the UK’s leading support networks for small businesses – in association with Xero, Dell Technologies and Neat. The list was compiled after the awards reached out to fledgling businesses to nominate an adviser that had helped them to build and grow a sustainable business.

The awards, which set out to highlight the work done behind the scenes by experts helping Britain’s army of small businesses to build and grow, revealed a rich vein of dedicated supporters for the UK’s expanding entrepreneurial culture, even during the pandemic.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation said: “Business advisers are the unsung heroes behind Britain’s booming small business culture and their insight and experience are needed now more than ever.

“The awards were designed to show how important this work is, in order to help more start-ups and small firms find out about the benefits of taking advice.”

The 50 advisers were chosen from hundreds of entries from around the UK, with ten outstanding experts picked out as the top ten.