Whitney Rampya is the lastest in a long line of women in her family who are using their talent and energy to help others. Her socent Employ Me helps young South Africans bridge some of the gaps that make it harder to get jobs – like not being able to afford travel fares to get to job interviews.
We caught up with her to celebrate Women’s Day.
What advice do you give the young women you’re getting ready for work or sending to interviews?
Be confident. You will not be the best version of yourself or realize your potential if you are riddled with fear. Project that confidence and soon it will become a part of you. Celebrate the fundamental differences that make you women and do not disregard them.
Who are the women in your life who inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I was inspired by my grandmother and mother to become an entrepreneur. I had my first taste of entrepreneurship at five years old selling bompies – frozen juice – oranges and popcorn wrapped in newspaper from my grandmother’s home. I was the sales person, the cashier and the producer. This was definitely one of the most exciting moments in my childhood and my first introduction to entrepreneurship.
And your mother?
My mother was my first example of the joy in connecting people to work opportunities. Apart from her professional experience as a HR Director, my mother would cut out job posts from the newspaper, and ask anyone that would listen if they had employment opportunities at their workplace. Our home was always filled with random people that were either starting a new job in the city or needing a job. Most of my family members have found employment because of my mother. Our daily telephone conversations always include her saying ‘’haai shame Whitney, so and so really needs a job”. She showed me the value in creating opportunities for others and the change that employment can bring in a home and in a community.
Who are the women you admire most in social enterprise or business generally – and why?
We have so many women doing amazing work in the social enterprises space, my mother however will always be the one I admire the most. She has started an outpatient drug rehabilitation centre in Port Elizabeth called ’The Booths’. She amazes me with her ability to change and start new ventures with the aim of assisting other people. Her courage and stamina for trying to change people’s lives is amazing.
What’s been happening with Employ Me?
The journey over the last few months has been amazing. We have secure strategic partnerships that will assist in adding value to our app. We have placed more than 40 individuals in full time employment. We have just grown in grace, and the team has grown. We are more excited, more creative and more innovative than the day we started.