Inspiring ‘shark’ to address Metro’s businesswomen at BWA AGM

MARCH 3, 2017
Inspiring ‘shark’ to address Metro’s businesswomen at BWA AGM

“I never dreamed about success; I worked for it” is one message that inspirational business leader and Shark Tank celebrity Dawn Nathan-Jones is likely to share with members of the Businesswomen’s Association (BWA) Port Elizabeth members when she addresses their annual general meeting on 9 March.

Former CEO of Imperial Group’s car rental division, a dynamic leader and esteemed businesswoman, Jones is most popularly recognised from her role on Shark Tank South Africa, an M-Net reality show in which budding entrepreneurs try to convince five self-made millionaires, the “Sharks”, to invest in their business.

Following an illustrious 35-year career – starting at just 21, when she joined Imperial Car’s two female founding members to take on other car rental giants “with just five cars and plenty of passion” – Jones stepped down from her role as CEO in 2015, after 18 years behind the wheel. Her achievements include driving the business from humble beginnings to a fleet of 20 000 vehicles, as well as the merger with Europcar and massive rebranding of Imperial Holdings in 2009.

Now, as a vocal advocate for the empowerment of women and young entrepreneurs, Jones’s mission is to impart her astute knowledge of processes and structures to fledgling businesses, partly through her role in Shark Tank, in order to help turn them into successful enterprises.
“I am passionate about contributing to the economic growth of South Africa, and a huge part of that will come from cultivating a culture of entrepreneurship amongst our youth,” she said. “My dream now is to leave a legacy of social entrepreneurship with heart.”

Michelle Brown, chairperson of the BWA-PE said the association was honoured to be hosting Nathan-Jones as guest speaker.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from Dawn’s powerful business expertise and be inspired by her passion.

“The Port Elizabeth branch continues to be one of the most active and dynamic of the BWASA. Aside from our valuable mentorship programme and our prestigious Regional Business Achiever Awards, the BWA enriches it members as well as young girls in the community throughout the year in numerous ways.

“Our annual general meeting is an opportunity for us to take stock of our work over the past twelve months, to renew connections between members and the BWA Executive Committee, and to gain fresh insight into the value that BWA delivers to businesswomen and the local economy,” said Brown.

For more information about BWASA, visit the website: www.bwasa.co.za or the Facebook page at BWA Port Elizabeth.