In February we are celebrating the #BudgetQueen Ms Velenie Jacob!
A whizz at finance, Velenie has been leveraging social media and using her business, Nasara Consulting, to economically empower people with financial knowledge. Recognising the gap that needed to be filled between the informal and formal sector, Velenie has dedicated her time to sharing useful information packed with practical advice on how to manage your money.
The humble yet passionate self-employed businesswoman loves the work she does and hopes it brings positive change in people’s lives, especially those at the community level.
Velenie lives by this quote, and hopes it inspires other young women too, “Aspiring young women leaders, if you have a passion to make a change, don’t ignore it. Make the change for you and for the people.”
#SistaGatStyle #BudgetQueen #WomanAmbrym #Humble #Smart #Passionate #Beautiful #BossLady
36 years old
Where are you from?
I come from the island of Ambrym.
Tell us about your family?
I have two brothers and three sisters. My father sadly passed away last year and so we only have our mother with us today. And I am a single mother to my lovely daughter.
What do you like to do in your spare time? Any hobbies?
I love reading! Growing up, I loved reading books and sometimes I’d get told off by my parents cos I would choose books over chores lol. But now, with everything online, I read different things online.
Do you work?
I’ve been in the workforce for 15 years and 12 of those years have been in the financial sector. During my time in the finance sector I realized the gap that needed to be filled between the informal and formal sector. Trying to explain and retrieve information for loans, credit, business expenses and even just data from clients who had low literacy skills was difficult but it made me realise that there is a gap and I wanted to step up and help bridge it. However, I then moved and worked in a government department. This shift in sectors allowed me to start up my business on the side – how to budget and save money – and also build up my clientele.
When I started my business I shared what I thought was the basics, when in fact it was information that a lot of people didn’t know about. This was an eye opener for me as I could see there was a lack of education on basic finances. As more people came, my passion to continue to help others grew and it’s what finally pushed me to start my own business and be self-employed in 2021 – it has only been a year but it’s growing strong!
What do you study?
Once I graduated from Malapoa College in 2005, I enrolled in some courses at the University of the South Pacific (USP) and took online courses at the same time. At the time, I had no intention of working in the field of finance but through my job experiences it slowly built up my passion to work in this field.
What do you aspire to do in the future?
I have so many goals! But I have two main goals I am determined to accomplish. My family goal is to raise my daughter to be an independent woman. My work goal is to eventually reach out to people in the communities, especially in the islands and share my knowledge through workshops. I know it will be a challenge because of how spread out Vanuatu is, but this is a goal I really want to achieve.
What is a quote that you live by?
A quote I live by and that I want other young women to live by too is, “Aspiring young women leaders, if you have a passion to make a change, don’t ignore it. Make the change for you and for the people.”
How would you describe your style?
I would describe my style as very relaxed and casual.
Why do you like fashion?
I like fashion because it’s a sense of self care. It gives me that refreshed sense and puts me in a good mood to kick start my day. If I’m feeling down, having a new dress (even if I bought it myself) always makes me feel like I have control over the whole day.
Who influences your style?
My style is influenced by the people I meet. I get to meet new people everyday through my work and I like to be as casual as possible. My clients and the people I intend to educate are local people whom I meet everyday so I do not want to intimidate them by dressing too formal. I also don’t want to be too informal, but somewhere in between. As long as I am relaxed and comfortable with what I wear, I’ll be able to have relaxed conversations.
What beauty products do you use (including perfume)?
I am a big fan of Coconut Oil. I regularly go to TJ Beauty Salon to get my hair done and my favorite scent is the “Arianna Grande” perfume.
Any fashion tips?
Don’t force yourself to wear something for someone else but be content with what you choose to wear that’s presentable.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means so much more than just living day to day and accepting what life throws at you without action. Life will throw all sorts of things at you and sometimes they all come rushing to you at once. How you choose to react will determine if you’re going to make it to the top or let the troubles of life drown you out. If you’re an independent woman, people will often misread you. Just because you build yourself to be resilient and others often take advantage of that, even the people closest to you. So being a woman to me is having the strength to continue through the toughest of times and learning essential life skills along the way because if no one is there to pick you up at the end of the day, you have to do it on your own.
What is one thing you wish you could tell your younger self?
I would advise my younger self to build up networking skills. Communication and networking go hand in hand and if we build up on these skills, confidence will flow naturally and will open doors to a lot of opportunities.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is my daughter. She is my lifesaver. She gave me a window of hope and she turned my life around. The things I do today are for her because I want her to have a good life. I thank God for her because without her little hands around me everyday, there wouldn’t be any motivation to continue.
This article was originally published in the February,2023 edition of the Vanuatu Daily Post’s Life and Style magazine.
We are proud partners with VDP and Sista’s time to implement this project which is covered by CARE Vanuatu.