Meet our trustees


Business Executive, Dawn Mthombeni has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services industry and has consistently displayed the passion, vision, and dedication necessary to be successful in business.

Currently, she is the Chief Operating Officer and Head: Solutions for Enterprise and Supply Chain Development (ESD) at Barclays Africa Group. Her vision is to contribute positively to the growth of small businesses in the ICT sector and as a member of the Innovator Trust board of Trustees, she is well positioned to manage a range of perspectives on improvements in the sector.

Recognised for her diligence, she has been a great leader throughout her career as an Executive, and successfully led different teams to reach various milestones. Dawn was the Executive Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Operations Shared Services at Standard Bank, where she was responsible for managing their shared services strategy and operational models.

Dawn earned a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Psychology, graduating with Honours, has a Master’s of Business Administration degree and is currently studying towards a Doctorate Degree in Strategic Focus through Edinburg University.


As a Trustee at the Innovator Trust, Dawn is committed to seeing through her vision of developing the ICT sector and helping organisations become effective so they can focus more time and energy on creating and delivering innovative solutions and products.

Dawn Mthombeni


Tashline Jooste is the Chief Executive Officer for the Innovator Trust, as well as a pivotal member of our board of trustees. Having acquired unique and extensive business acumen during her varied career, Tashline spearheads the Innovator Trust, and oversees the crucial strategic direction of the organisation and its operations.

Tashline not only provides strong leadership from a business perspective to the Innovator Trust, but also embodies the core ethos of the organisation in her passion and dedication to empowering others.

Before taking up her role at the Innovator Trust, Tashline was the Financial Manager for Marketing at Vodacom, where she was responsible for substantial budgets and the overseeing of the finances for the major corporate brand. Tashline’s impressive performance and strong organisational skills led to her becoming an integral part of the Vodacom Sport & Entertainment Company (later named SAIL). She was later appointed as the New Business Director at SAIL. During this period of her career Tashline was exposed to local and global innovation in business, taking part in FIFA 2010 World Cup projects, as well as overseeing crucial portfolios such Government Relations and New Business Development.


Having achieved astounding results in her career thus far, Tashline readily took on the role of CEO at the Innovator Trust in 2014. The organisation particularly appealed to Tashline’s passion for entrepreneurialism, as well as her drive to empower others. Tashline incorporates her strong leadership style, as well as her unyielding commitment to the goals of the organisation, in her role.

Tashline Jooste


Jancis Van Biljon is a member of the Innovator Trust board of trustees, and acts as Financial Manager for the organisation. Known for her precision and close attention to detail, Jancis has been a major asset to a variety of businesses.

A quintessential ‘numbers person’ who finds great satisfaction in creating models that maximize potential of funds and assets, she started out her career at Tim du Toit Attorneys, later completing articles at Bennie and Wilson Chartered Accountants (SA). Following a project collaboration for the Auditor General of South Africa, and the following role of Financial Accountant at United National Breweries, Jancis went on to accept the position of Senior Accountant Consolidations at Vodacom. After being promoted a year later to Financial Manager, her tenor at Vodacom positioned her as the ideal candidate to serve on the board of the Innovator Trust.


Having a number of career heroes in the field as well as her own experience with entrepreneurs, Jancis has a deep insight into the challenges and processes for small businesses and start-ups. Because of this, Jancis welcomes the opportunity to harness her skills to provide invaluable assistance to the Innovator Trust’s beneficiaries – helping them maximise their potential and realise their business dreams.


Jancis van Biljon



Self-made successful businessman and industrial engineer, Theo Lombard brings to the Innovator Trust an in-depth understanding of the importance of process, first-hand knowledge about growing a small business, and what B-BBEE Enterprise Development should achieve in the ICT sector.
Theo graduated from the University Pretoria with a BSc in Industrial Engineering in 1994. His first work experience was as a consultant in business processes re-engineering for clients and later he became a client at a copper and aluminum tubing manufacturer where he analysed, developed and implemented various business processing systems.
In 2001, Theo started his own business systems consulting company but later failed to secure sufficient projects as he had no experience in managing cash flow and expenses. Theo secured two Vodacom contracts to implement warehousing and point-of-sale systems. His project management skills on these projects led Theo to being offered a director position at E-Cubed Management Consulting (later Logical Options Consulting), which he joined early in 2002. He is currently one of the founders of EmpowerLogic, a company specialising in Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment needs.


As a trustee at the Innovator Trust, Theo’s vision is to see small ICT businesses grow rapidly and invest their 3% of NPAT into enterprise development for a new wave of businesses.

Theo Lombard



Nooraya is an experienced and successful private equity transactor who was employed at the Private Equity Division of Rand Merchant Bank (“RMB”), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, for eight years and resigned to pursue private interests.

She obtained vast experience in the implementation and management of private equity and black economic empowerment transactions during her time at RMB in a variety of industries from agriculture to manufacturing. She also served as a director on behalf of RMB on the boards and audit committees of a number of RMB's investee companies.

Nooraya credits the Innovator Trust for its compelling vision to shape and inspire learning amongst South African entrepreneurs by offering them the opportunity to mentor and support their businesses early in the process to achieve successful results.

Her goal as an Innovator Trust Trustee is to assist its beneficiaries to develop innovative products which can grow their businesses beyond South Africa. She also believes that entrepreneurship is not only about building and running your own business, but about offering a solution to a problem as well as having the passion and perseverance to see it through.


Nooraya obtained a BCom degree from the University of Natal, completed her BCompt. (Honours) degree through UNISA and is currently completing an International Directors Programme run by Insead University in Paris.

Dawn Mthombeni