Born in sunny South Africa, this Canadian raised entrepreneur has a net worth of $100 million. This outstanding businesswoman has many talents, including author, venture capitalist, and TV personality. 

She earned her millions as the CEO of Venture Communications. Specializing in marketing, she was able to gain sole ownership of the business within ten years of starting there. She took this small business and grew it into one of Canada’s largest marketing firms. 

How did this South African born businesswoman become wealthy? And how does she compare to the other Canadian Dragons? Keep reading to find out. 

ARLENE DICKINSON – QUICK FACTS

Name: Arlene Dickinson
Date of Birth: 8th October 1956
Husband: None
Kids: Four
Title: Businesswoman, TV Personality, Author
Occupation: General Partner, CEO, Venture Capitalist
Lives: Calgary, Canada

WHERE SHE RANKS AMONG THE TOP DRAGON’S

Dragon Networth
Arlene Dickinson $100 Million
Michele Romanow $187 Million
Manjit Minhas $200 Million
Jim Treliving $700 Million
Lane Merrifield An estimated $350 Million 
Vincenzo Guzzo An estimation between $1 Million – $5 Million

HER EARLY LIFE

It’s interesting to note that Arlene was originally born in Germiston, South Africa. Her family were Mormon, and she was the youngest of her family. She has two older sisters. When she was three years old, her family immigrated in Canada in 1959. 

Her family was exceptionally poor and only had $50 in their pockets when they arrived in Calgary.

Even though her father had a PhD in education, he worked as an electrician. Due to financial struggles, her parents eventually got divorced when she was 13 years old. 

At the age of 16, Arlene graduated from high school and decided to no longer pursue further education. She got married young (19 to be precise) to her best friends brother.

They had four children together but got divorced when she was in her 30’s, due to an affair that she had. She was thus excommunicated from the Mormon church. She lost her children during the divorce and had to prove that she could support her children financially. 

She found an advertising sales job but sadly lost it shortly after she started. These hardships, set the ball rolling for her future financial endeavors.

DICKINSON’S CAREER AND RISE TO WEALTH

A friend heard of Arlene’s struggles and reached out to her. He offered her a partnership in his marketing firm Venture Communications. She accepted the offer and began working there in 1988. Due to being a partner in the business, she didn’t receive a salary. 

Dickinson lived off her credit cards, and savings and worked hard to make the business a success. Her hard work paid off because within 10 years she became the sole owner of Venture Communications. 

She bought out her two partners, and with her at the helm of the business, Venture Communications became one of the biggest marketing agencies in the whole of Canada. Some of her clients include Subway, Toyota and Unilever. 

Arlene is also an incredible public speaker and is represented by several public speaker bureaus. In 2012 she also started the Arlene Dickinson’s Enterprises to fund Canada’s entrepreneurs. She has invested in a variety of different businesses, including Urban Cultivator.

She also has ideas for a new magazine, apps and radio shows. Arlene also started an app called YouInc.com. This social website was specifically designed to celebrate the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

In 2017, Dickinson also launched District Ventures, which helps entrepreneurs in the food, beverage and health sectors. District Ventures has become one of the leading venture funding enterprises in Canada. 

She is also on the board of one of the largest licenses medical marijuana companies in Canada. 

DRAGONS DEN AND BEYOND

Arlene Dickinson joined Dragon’s Den in 2007 for the second season, she then left in the ninth season to pursue business ventures but returned for season 12.  

Some of her investments in the Den include:

A chewing gum company that takes out the bad ingredients in gum, and replaces it with good ingredients. 

A candy company that specializes in making chocolate clusters that are mixed with nuts, toffee, pretzels and other delicious things. They aim to become the top-selling candy brand in Canada.

This is a baby food brand that makes nutritious meals for babies. All ingredients are organic, clean and nutrient-rich. 

OTHER TV APPEARANCES AND BOOKS

Dickinson has also appeared in the TV series Murdoch Mysteries. She has co-hosted the CBC reality series The Big Decision and has been a judge on Food Networks Recipies to Riches. 

Arlene is also the author of a few excellent books. Some were on the bestsellers lists for weeks. Her first book “Persuasion” was an autobiography and  her second book was an inspirational book for all entrepreneurs called “You, Your Business, Your Life”

AWARDS, HONORS AND CHARITIES

Dickinson is an incredibly smart woman who has received honorary degrees in four different fields, including Doctors of law and Applied Science. 

She has received several awards, which will be listed below:

  • Global Television Woman of Vision
  • Calgary Business Owner of the Year Award
  • Top 100 Women Business Owners
  • Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence

Arlene is also involved in many charities, including Breakfast Clubs of Canada, which helps raise awareness on the importance of a nutritional breakfast for children. Dignitas International is also close to her heart. This is a research foundation for the care and treatment of those with TB and HIV. 

HER PERSONAL LIFE

Dickinson is grandmother to 7 and is currently not married. She did get married a second time but got divorced after seven years of marriage. In 2011 she got engaged, but the engagement ended before she got married. Arlene lives between Toronto and Calgary.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Arlene Dickinson is a remarkable woman, who worked hard and smart to get to where she is today. From having nothing to having millions, she is an awesome entrepreneur. 

We are looking forward to more of her business ventures in the future! 

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