Business & Trade Food & Beverage Health & Wellness Manufacturing Marketing, Communications & Public Relations


Germiston, South Africa

Years in Current


Years in


in Calgary

Arlene's Story

Arlene is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs. After eight seasons on the hit CBC show Dragons’ Den, and two best-selling books, Arlene has now set her focus on growing entrepreneurism in Canada. She lives and breathes entrepreneurism, and is the visionary behind District Ventures.

With a focus on building companies in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry, District Ventures is the first accelerator of its kind in Canada.

Dickinson’s leadership and business acumen has been recognized with a number of awards, including Venture’s selection as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for three consecutive years.



Why Calgary?

"Few recognize that Calgary has the highest concentration of small businesses among Canada’s major cities. Fewer still understand that Albertans are, by nature, among the hardest working, driven and entrepreneurial Canadians in the country. That’s why I chose Calgary as the home of District Ventures. Because I want to build a place where the most innovative, driven and creative entrepreneurs can grow their business and succeed."

Connected to Arlene

Pic 0002 ThCrase Takacs StMarys

Thérèse Takacs

Vice President, Advancement at St. Mary's University

Cody Calgaryism

Cody Battershill

Founder of Calgaryism at Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX House of Real Estate

David Social

David Wald

Chief Idea Guy, Owner at Social Sesame Inc.