Filling the Void: Valencia Tshirang on Being a Successful Female Entrepreneur in Africa.

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Despite growing conversations about gender diversity, women remain underrepresented in the entrepreneurship space. Valencia Tshirang is among the few who have launched successful ventures and is giving back by supporting unemployed youth get employment.

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Valencia Tshirang, started her HR firm in the South African city of Bloemfontein after a long stint as a HR employee in different companies. She shares her journey in the Human Resource world, lessons learned over the years and a program she’s so passionate about - the youth empowerment program that helps unemployed young people find jobs. 

Who is Valencia and what does she do?

Valencia Tshirang is a South African HR Specialist and founder of Careerline Recruitment that was started in 2012. We specialize in quality placements and HR Consultancy Services.

How did you fall in love with HR as a career?

I’ve always had a passion for equality and human rights especially in the workplace. So it wasn’t a tough choice choosing HR. 

I believe some jobs are more of a calling than a career. Human Resource is the heart of every business. As a HR practitioner, the future of the company is mostly dependent on you in terms of (just to name a few): 

  • Recruitment – you have to make sure that you place the right candidate at the right job to add value to the company.

  • Training and development are key in the company for the growth of the organization. You need to always invest in quality candidates who join the company by equipping them with the right skills to work smarter.

  • Payroll management -  remunerations and employment benefits need to be standardized across departments across the company, and that the company complies with the labor laws of the country.

  • Occupational Health and Safety needs to be taken into account at all times. You have to ensure that the company adheres to all health and safety regulations in order to give employees a safe working environment. 

How long did you work for other companies before you started your own firm?

I have over 15 years’ worth of work experience in human resources. My vast experience is drawn across different industries in South Africa in leading managerial roles.

What led you to want to start your own company and what niche did you identify?

I learned all that I needed to know as an employee and felt it was time to start my own HR firm. I started my firm as a recruitment agency 9 years ago and others were added as the years went by. I felt that most of the entrepreneurs in South Africa needed guidance on HR. They were not being given a lot of attention. I started by organizing workshops for the management of small companies to train them on the HR policies and procedures.

When did you start Careerline Recruitment and how has it been for you now as an entrepreneur?

I learned all that I needed to know as an employee and felt it was time to start my own HR firm. I started my firm as a recruitment agency 9 years ago. I felt that most of the entrepreneurs in South Africa needed guidance on HR. They were not being given a lot of attention. I started by organizing workshops for the management of small companies to train them on the HR policies and procedures.

It’s been an exciting journey. Every business has its ups and downs. But I believe when you do what you love it doesn’t feel like work. Being a black woman in business has its own challenges. You have to work twice as hard. Especially where I’m based in Free State, I am one of the few black women who have penetrated the HR business market. My competitors have been in business for long and are recognized.

I identified a gap in the market and specialized on that to be able to deliver value for clients. For example:

  • Organizing monthly HR workshops with employers and partner with the Department of Labor to train them on certain processes.

  • Organize workshops at certain universities and colleges for the graduates, to guide them in their career and how to kick start it.

You help unemployed young people through your youth empowerment program. What inspired it?

I had a concern. Every academic year we have graduates and most of them do not get employed because no one is guiding them on how to look for work. They come fresh from school, energetic but do not know what to do. For example, how to draft a killer CV, how to present yourself at a job interview, how to conduct yourself at work.

Through our Careerline Recruitment Youth Empowerment Program, we identify 50 unemployed youth in each province in SA who we enroll in the program. The program has three phases:

  • CV revamping – we help revamp their CVs to attract potential employers.

  • Interview preparation workshop – we prepare them on how to tackle a job interview. We teach them what to expect in an interview, different kinds of interviews, the do’s and don’ts in the interview, what to wear, etc.

  • Work readiness workshop – this phase prepares them on how to conduct themselves at work and what to expect. This includes business language, dress codes, teamwork, etc.

What advice would you give unemployed millennials looking for the next big opportunity?

Let looking for work be your work. You need to commit to looking for work daily. Register with different agencies to assist you in looking for work. Research more about the companies that you would like to work for. Make an appointment with the HR manager of that company and opt to volunteer in a certain department just to get a job experience and to be exposed to a working environment. Remember your mind will regress when you are just sitting at home and doing nothing.

The government also has some programs that assist youth to look for work. Look for them and register. Remember your future is in your hands!

As you turn 40 what is the one thing that has remained constant in your life about you since childhood?

Do your best and God will do the rest.

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    janet | February 22, 2021 06:02

    Thanks Valencia and the entire Fuzu Team. This is so powerful and an eye opener. Keep it up, you are doing a good. All the best in your future plans.

    Benson | February 20, 2021 08:49

    Thanks for your inspirational article.

    Buga | February 20, 2021 05:19

    So attractive and a good clue. I need to embark on those tough tips highlighted herein. Thanks Valencia.

    Vicent | February 19, 2021 17:03

    Thanks that's inspiring information

    Veronica | February 19, 2021 12:55

    Wow, this is very beautiful and inspiring. Thank you, Valencia. Thank you fuzu

    ROSE | February 19, 2021 08:27

    Thanks for sharing and for the great job you are doing. Job readiness is a big challenge for most job seekers even though they are qualified. Thanks for filling this gap. I too share in your passion to help young people get employment (self or hired).

    Penninah Auma | February 18, 2021 19:23

    Thanks alot,this is very inspiring Valencia.

    Edger | February 18, 2021 14:51

    Thanks for this article

    KODT | February 18, 2021 13:15

    perfect inspiration

    Vicent | February 18, 2021 12:49

    This is really,really great and i admire your intellectualism.

    faith | February 18, 2021 12:01

    Wow..powerful motivation

    Hoseah | February 18, 2021 10:51


    CHEPKEMOI | February 18, 2021 09:36

    Thanks for this informative information Valencia

    Erastus | February 18, 2021 08:43

    This is great and inspiring!

    churchill | February 18, 2021 08:16

    Good work

    Nzaghale | February 18, 2021 08:09

    Very motivative

    Joseph | February 18, 2021 08:04

    Perfectly said.

    Alice | February 18, 2021 07:18

    This is encouraging Valencia. All the best as you grow your venture.

    OBICH | February 18, 2021 06:24

    A beautiful article, thanks a lot fuzu team

    BAHATI | February 18, 2021 05:40

    Thanks Valencia and fuzu, Your story is inspiring, you can engage globally online so that many will have the opportunity to benefit from your initiative from wherever they are. Bravo once again

    Tobias | February 18, 2021 05:05

    Thanks a lot for inspirational advice. It is true success comes from focus, determination and dedication through hard work and clear direction

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