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Shylet Jokonya is taking on her role as CEO with boldness

Fear and lack of experience could not stop 34-year-old founder and CEO of Varite Solutions from starting her business.

CEO: Shylet Jokoya taking role with boldness

The bold move is now paying off as she prepares herself for another milestone, to become a chartered accountant. Her determination and ambition have been commendable as she reflects goals achieved and the growth her company has seen from nothing to servicing a diverse clientele across South Africa. Our writer Bianca Mashao, catches up with the young CEO.

Ignited Woman Magazine (IWM): Please briefly tell us about yourself and where you are from.

Shylet Jokonya: I am from Boksburg in the East Rand. I am an innovative entrepreneur and qualified Accountant. I have been in business for over 10 years' now and on my way to becoming a Chartered Accountant. My experience has been gained through running Varite Solutions and working as an employee in different companies covering various sectors of the economy.

IWM: Tell us about your business?

SJ: Varite Solutions was founded in 2016 with the aim of offering bookkeeping services to small businesses. Over the years, we have expanded our operations and now service a diverse clientele across South Africa. We provide an array of business solutions which include business consulting, accounting and tax management, HR & payroll, virtual assistant, coaching and training, company registration as well as secretarial services. IWM: What has inspired your entrepreneurial journey? SJ: Making a change and empowering people, I strongly believe that one person with determination and one action can have a ripple effect that can change the world.

IWM: Overcoming fear (challenges)

SJ: Staying on top of the laws and regulations and finding the right advise was a big challenge for me. When I started, I was only armed with bookkeeping skills. Compliance and trying to manoeuvre my way in the business world was a nightmare. Though I managed to get mentorship and guidance, fear of failure weighed me down and was another chief concern. In all this I learnt that fear is a natural response to undertaking new challenges and it’s what stimulates us to overcome obstacles and succeed.

IWM: What does it mean to you to be a young woman in leadership?

SJ: It means being visionary, selfless and committed to transformation. It means being compassionate, resilient and driven by a passion that is bigger than myself. I take this as an opportunity to bring meaningful change to the world and recognize strong woman who supported and are still supporting me in my journey and hold others who are navigating the challenges that women in business face.

IWM: What kind of impact would you like to make through your business?

SJ: Varite Solutions strives to make a significant contribution and have social impact through community engagement and philanthropy. We are working on offering learnership programmes, mentoring and support to ACCA students in the near future.

IWM: What has been the highlight since you started your business?

SJ: I always thought running a business was about competition, running the race and getting there first. Deep in the journey, I realised the cake is too big. Entrepreneurship is not a solo journey. Building a successful business can’t be done alone. Entrepreneurs must look for ways to partner and collaborate with others. This is how businesses are elevated and enhanced. Even if there is no clear synergy today, building the relationships will yield results and support in the future. Collaboration and mentorship will make the difference in success and failure.

Sound advice
While the journey ahead might be complex, it is essential to understand the nuances, acknowledge the historical context for women and navigate the shifting tides of change. Be the change that you want and start right where you are.



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Editor's note

American novelist Louisa May Alcott said it best when she said “Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.”

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