Donna Rachelson is a driven entrepreneur with a passion for helping women and entrepreneurs make their mark. She is an active advocate for diversity and firmly believes in the power of inclusion. She drives her agenda through the books she has written, talks and lobbying the ecosystem for change.
Her superpower lies in her ability to inspire lasting mindset shifts and impart tangible, practical advice. She is involved in a spectrum of businesses and initiatives that reflect her talent and passion.
Having held a number of marketing director positions in organisations including Nando’s and the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants as well as marketing management positions at Standard Bank and AECI, she believes she can brand & market anything from chicken to explosives and chartered accountants.
She has a fascination for personal and team branding and its impact on business growth. Donna founded Branding & Marketing YOU – a business focused on helping organisations build their brands from their most important assets – their ‘people’. She has spoken to and trained many people across more than 20 blue chip clients, including Microsoft, McKinsey, Standard Bank, Nedbank, Deloitte and SAB. Donna is also author of the bestselling book Branding & Marketing YOU, the first South African based personal branding and marketing book. Her second book focused on team branding – a powerful concept that mobilises organizational teams to effectively position themselves as adding value and enhancing their visibility and credibility.
In her current role as CEO and shareholder of Seed Engine which includes Seed Academy and the WDB Growth Fund, Donna’s focus is on social impact and creating economic inclusion for all through entrepreneurship. Seed Engine builds the skills and capacity of youth and women entrepreneurs and supports them to grow & scale their businesses through high impact business development support, access to markets and funding.
She is in her element helping women unlock their innate potential by sharing insights around the themes she sees as most critical to their ‘strategic self’. Donna’s third book ‘Play to Win: What women can learn from men in business’ gives women practical ways of ‘levelling the playing field’ and getting ahead in male dominated environments.
Donna readily shares learnings and insights through keynote presentations and contributing to media for comment and opinion. She has a solid business education, including an MBA and is a guest lecturer at GIBS and has lectured at Yale on the YALI programme.