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How do South African Businesses Perform in a Pandemic?

Hazel Hoole, VA Centre founder, speaks to The South African about How South African Businesses Perform in a Pandemic.

An extract from the article dated 8 January 2021:

While many companies affected by lockdowns confronted the challenge of remote working, Hazel Hoole, founder of VA Centre in Johannesburg, already had an array of UK-based clients using her virtual administrative services. “We were ahead of the curve. When COVID-19 hit we were ready!”

Even for highly experienced virtual workers like Hoole, the challenge of achieving the right work-life balance remains. “Working from home, you can quite easily end up in the office at weekends,” Hoole observed. “You need to draw boundaries.” Despite the prospect of vaccinations, Hoole fully expects further business uncertainty for many and urges other SMEs to adopt her approach to adapting quickly to market changes. “Being a virtual assistant you have to be agile. Your tech skills need to be high, have ambition to learn, and don’t have fear!”

Girl Using Laptop

Celebrating Businesses Led by Woman

The South African Chamber of Commerce (UK) proudly celebrates member businesses led by woman in an acknowledgement article dated 8 August 2020 

VA Centre speaks about My Story. My Life. My Business

The South African Chamber of Commerce (UK) invited VA Centre to speak alongside other inspiring panelists at their popular Lightning Talks series on 29 October 2020.

Hazel Hoole, Founder of VA Centre and Sheepskin Slippers SA talks about coming to terms with her "Smartie Box Career" driven by changing interests.


Roger Abbott, Chairman of the Felixstowe Chamber of Trade and Commerce shares about "How coincidences changed my life" - or was it potluck.


Ferial Puren, CEO of Ignite Life Community, talks about "What dance taught me about life, love and freedom" - from her first ballet lesson on the Cape Flats to finding her purpose.

Female Entrepreneur South Africa

VA Centre get featured in Female Entrepreneur SA magazine, BizBuzz and services are recommended in February/March 2020 


Working From Home Best Practice - A VA's Perspective

Bertie Siggers, Permanent Consultant at Tiger Recruitment in London, interviews Hazel Hoole of VA Centre and Amy Brennan, who are experienced virtual assistants about their tips, in order to help personal assistants with the transition to working remotely. They cover:

  • Their favourite technology

  • Staying motivated and productive while working from home

  • Their remote workspace

  • Structuring their day

  • Learning opportunities

  • Creating boundaries

  • Improving communication with their principals

  • Their tips for PAs working remotely for the first time

April 2020

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