T hree gifted young women

THEY are young, gifted and black.

THEY are young, gifted and black.

In fact, Yoliswa Mogale, 26, Maraba Tshabalala, 23, and Kgomotso Makgopanye, 22, all from Soweto, are so serious about the future of young people that they started a company to find jobs for them.

Since the establishment of SuccesSA three years ago, the three have found jobs for more than 2500 young people and the numbers continue to increase despite the current economic recession.

Armed with experience in call centres, finances, human resources and leadership training, the three young women train youths to become good call centre agents.

Their goal, they say, is to work closely with the government and other interested groups that want a brighter future for South Africa's young people.

Q: Why the focus on youth?

A: We were tired of seeing young people hanging around street corners and eventually turning to crime as an easy fix. We also came across a situation where most young people couldn't get jobs because they didn't have experience. That was a concern for us. Also, youth recruitment was a natural choice for us since we are youths ourselves and have first- hand experience of what it's like to be young and feeling hopeless if you can't afford a tertiary education and no one is willing to employ you.

Q: Did you have start-up funds and, if not, how did you fund the business?

A: We had four years of savings to use as start-up capital and we begged and borrowed from our families. They took a chance on us and have been very proud ever since.

Q: What else does SuccesSA do?

A: We do different kinds of recruitment based on the needs of our clients. We have done recruitment in administration, to air hostesses and executive recruitment. We have even sourced performers for local television shows.

Q: What keeps you going?

A: Knowing that the path we are walking is shaping tomorrow's leaders encourages us to share our wisdom and accept the wisdom of others.

Q: What challenges did you encounter when you started the business and how did you overcome them?

A: Getting clients to take us seriously was a challenge because the first thing people notice is how young we are, so they don't expect us to deliver on our promises. In order for us to be acknowledged for the good work we do, we give nothing less than the best and we let the results speak for themselves. All the candidates we have placed have surpassed the expectations of our clients.

Q: How has being entrepreneurs liberated you?

A: We are the decision-makers and the responsibility bearers. We are in control of our own destinies and we also help others shape their own paths. We are young, black, gifted South African women who are running things the way we choose and living each moment as if it's golden.

Q: Who are your role models in business?

A: All the people who have lived and died so that the next generation might live free of oppression. We give thanks to all those souls who have broken new ground and rose high beyond set limitations and expectations.

Q: What would you say are the main challenges hindering the success of young people in this country and how can these challenges be resolved?

A: Too many young people want instant gratification so they tend to fall prey to fast money, not realising that it doesn't have staying power. As a country we need a shift from the mentality that those who have money are better than those who don't have it. Then we need to start recognising that education, be it formal or informal, is a necessary tool in the development of skills which are needed to sustain our own economy.

Q: How do you see yourselves growing in this business?

A: We have been blessed with a position to help eradicate poverty and bring about a real change in this country. We look forward to business exchanges where we might have opportunities to walk in the footsteps of giants in the business world and also learning from them.