The shiver of five Sharks who will be diving deep into their personal bank accounts to bankroll budding entrepreneurs in M-Net’s brand new Sunday night reality show Shark Tank South Africa will include a dynamic South African businesswoman. Durban-born Dawn Nathan-Jones, who revolutionised the local car rental industry, is joining serial entrepreneurs Gill Oved and Marnus Broodryk on the television panel that will soon make people’s money-making ideas come true.
While Shark Tank South Africa, which is based on the two-time Emmy award-winning US series produced by Mark Burnett (Survivor US, Celebrity Apprentice), will be screened on M-Net from 2 October, everyone who wants to clinch the business deal to take their enterprise to the next level has until Sunday, 31 July to enter the show.
“We’re honoured that a business woman of Dawn’s calibre has agreed to be part of the show,” says M-Net’s Head of Publicity, Lani Lombard. “Dawn’s success in the cut-throat world of business is testament to the fact that hard work, resilience, courage, people skills and a strong vision can make a difference anywhere. She passionately advocates the empowerment of women in business and her energy and unique entrepreneurial flair promises to inspire gutsy female entrepreneurs to follow their dreams.”
Dawn Nathan-Jones’ illustrious career started at the age of 21 when she joined Imperial Car founding members Carol Scott and Maureen Jackson, who identified a gap in the market and then took on other car rental giants with only five cars and plenty of passion. Her ability to continuously innovate, re-invent and drive change later landed her the coveted position of CEO of the Imperial Group’s Car Rental Division consisting of Europcar South Africa, Europecar Van Rental, Europcar Chauffeur Service, Tempest Car Hire, Auto Pedigree, Imperial Autobody, Danmar and Gage Car Hire.
Her achievements include taking the business from humble beginnings to a fleet of 20,000 vehicles by the time she stepped down from her role as CEO at the end of 2015, after 16 years at the helm. Dawn was also instrumental in the rebranding of Imperial Holdings in 2009 as Chairman of the Imperial Brand Council. Imperial Car Rental and Europcar merged in 2007, and she was responsible for the repositioning of the car rental division and consolidation and rebranding of Imperial Car Rental to Europcar in 2009.
“My philosophy is that you are either a passenger or the driver of change,” Dawn says. “The latter gives you the edge, and that’s why innovation and the right attitude will play a key role for me in Shark Tank SA. I want to support people who can shake up whatever field they’re in for the good of everyone involved. Of course, I also have a soft spot for fearless women who know where they’re going.”
In 2007, Dawn won the Transnet Foundation’s Boss of The Year Award, and in 2012 she was appointed as the Vice President of the industry body SAVRALA, where she has played an active role for the past 20 years. She is a member of the Business Women’s Association, IWF (International Women’s Forum), Institute of Directors an advocate of Equal Opportunities for Women, and founded the Europcar Jewish Woman in Leadership Award. She has been an active lobbyist between Government authorities and business particularly in the Motor Industry, and the South African Retail and Rental and Leasing Associations. Furthermore, she has been involved with many tourism bodies and played an active role in various tourism initiatives and industry advisory boards.
If you want to get Dawn’s backing and invaluable expertise, simply visit www.mnet.tv/sharktank to submit your 60 second video pitch. Stay up to date with all the latest Shark Tank SA news and conversations via Facebook on the M-Net Shark Tank page, on Twitter @MNetSharkTank or by using #SharkTankSA.
Shark Tank SA is sponsored in full by Telkom SA and will be broadcast on M-Net channel 101 from Sunday, 2 October at 18:00.