Explore Protech

Stay informed! Visit the SA Department of Health’s website for COVID-19 updates: www.sacoronavirus.co.za

Sponsored By:

Logo white background 450 x 258

Small Business Success Stories – The Virtual Assistant that gained 11 global clients in 3 months!

***Warning! This story will give you goosebumps!

This is one of our fabulous Fempreneur success stories which shows you what’s possible when you work in collaboration with other strong women (and cool men) in business. Fempreneur is our signature online course designed to accelerate your success. It’s the only course of it’s kind that has been designed by 11 handpicked global business coaches to help you identify, monetize, and market your value.

Read on for inspiration, and learn how you can become part of our Fempreneur movement. 

WhatsApp Image 2022-08-06 at 2.53.11 PM

The Meeting

We met Sommerville in September of 2020. It was the year that Covid had first hit and we were preparing to launch our first ever Global Online Speed Networking Event. After this event we were going to launch our Explore ProTech membership option.


Peter connected with Sommerville on LinkedIn. He asked her if she’d like to join us for our networking event. Back then a ticket to the event cost 2GBP. She wasn’t sure if it would be worth it, but it was such a small investment fee, and Peter seemed really nice! Being the kind-hearted person that he is, Peter said he wanted to help her find more clients for her business, so she bought the ticket.

Getting to Know Each Other

Back then, we ran a series of free networking training events in the build-up to the GOSN event. We did this to help prepare everyone that was attending for a successful event. Sommerville showed up at every single training session. She participated in everything, taking to heart and implementing all the advice we gave her.

The event itself was a beautiful disaster!!! We had 80 small business owners registered, about 50 showed up. A further 25 were locked out of their breakout rooms or got lost in our lack of directions along the way. Back then we were attempting to run the complete networking event via Facebook’s Room function.

On paper, the plan was great. In reality, Peter got locked out of his own Facebook Room and we canned the whole Facebook Room idea halfway through, pulling everyone back into Zoom. Sommerville was one of the 18 entrepreneurs that stayed with us till the very end.


A snapshot from the first ever training session in Explore ProTech history. Sommerville bottom left. 🙂

After the event, we reached out to her to invite her to join our membership to the Explore ProTech Core Community. She didn’t respond at first, which we found strange. We weren’t sure why. So we reached out to her, and she agreed to meet us on a Zoom call.

Getting Real Honest with Each Other

Sommerville Lombard - The Virtual Assistant that inspired this post.

That’s when she spilled the beans. She was a Virtual Assistant with ONE client. She had been battling, I think for about two years, to get more clients and she just couldn’t figure out how. She was close to giving up. She wanted to be involved in our community which she saw was a solution to a lot of the problems she was experiencing in business. There was one hitch though, she couldn’t afford our membership fee.


We needed a Virtual Assistant – badly, but couldn’t afford her services at the time either. Hence the first ever Energy Exchange Agreement in the history of our Explore ProTech community was born. She would help us out for a certain amount of hours per week and we would, in turn, give her access to our community and all the resources, contacts and connections that come with it.


We would treat her exactly the same as anyone of our other members and she would treat us exactly the same as one of her clients. That means she had to sort out the appalling state of our admin and communications, and we had to somehow help her get more clients. So we did.

Starting a Movement

Peter coined the saying “Everyone needs a Sommerville.” He would mention it whenever we spoke to any new or existing members of our community. They would be told what a relief it had been since Sommerville started helping us out with the management of our business. We advised Sommerville to then arrange to have Virtual Coffees with these members, which she diligently did.


When she was having the Virtual Coffees with our members she made sure to find out something about each of their businesses. She would express a genuine interest in them and their businesses. She would find out more and more, until she figured out how to illustrate to them how she could help them. In most cases they were convinced and she would soon be working with more clients, helping them in the way that she helped Explore ProTech.

Coffee First, Business Later

One such coffee was with Mr. Levy. He told Sommerville that he had an IT problem. He couldn’t get his emails to work on his phone and his IT guy couldn’t either. Sommerville told him that she was an ex-IT teacher and to give her 10 minutes then she would quickly fix it for him. After some quick research, and asking the right questions, she managed to get his emails working on his phone. Mr. Levy was so grateful he posted about how she had helped him on our community’s WhatsApp group and on his Linkedin page.

A connection of his in the States, saw this post on Linkedin and contacted Sommerville. That was her second client. She continued to follow this process with every single one of our community members. We continued to tell everyone how amazing she was (which is not a lie), and we would often be supported by other members, who would confirm what we were telling people, because she had helped them as well.

3 months later Our Sommerville had 12 clients and we had a dedicated Virtual Assistant that hosted our breakout rooms on Zoom and took care of so many of the admin and logistics in our business.

Fast Forward to Today

Today Sommerville has a bustling Agency. She’s known as one of the best, most dedicated, supportive, and caring Virtual Assistants in our Community. Every member in our community has heard the saying “Everyone needs a Sommerville”. She’s now on our payroll and we’re working toward being able to hire her as our full-time Online Business Manager/ Project Manager.

She runs the Fempreneur project and is one of the directors of the Fempreneur Foundation NPC. She owns a Virtual Assistant Agency. She co-owns the Explore Virtual Assistant Network (Explore VAN), an affiliate of Explore ProTech. She trains and uplifts other Virtual Assistants in our community on various skills and how to experience the growth she has experienced as a Virtual Assistant. She is a profit-share partner in our Global Online Speed Networking project space.


She’s our go-to person and our best friend. We couldn’t even imagine functioning Explore ProTech without her. Just as we would do anything to see her succeed in business, she would do the same for us. We’ve got each other’s backs. When something in our community is a risk or problem, she’ll point it out and we’ll talk about it. She guards our business and cares for it like it’s her own.


And instead of wondering how on earth she’s going to afford this week’s food for the kids, she’s planning how she and her husband are going to travel the world in the VW CAMPER VAN they just bought the other day.

How Amazing is that?

It’s entrepreneurial success stories like these that we, in this community LIVE for! It’s the reason why we get up in the morning and why we’re doing everything we’re doing to save the global economy – one small business at a time.


One of the projects we’re super passionate about right now is our Fempreneur program. We’ve put together a KILLER course for Fempreneurs (Women and some cool men seeking business success) just like you. We’re on a mission to find the next cohort of Fempreneurs that want to be just like Sommerville, so we can help them find a business model that works, and the support they need in order to implement that business, just like Sommerville did.


Join our Fempreneur Freebie Facebook Group if you’d like to see Sommerville, me, and Peter in action and also earn yourself some awesome freebies. And if you’d like your story to be as successful as Sommerville’s turned out to be, join us on our Full Flagship Fempreneur Course. Seats are limited, but we’d love to show you what we can do for your business.

Share this Story and Win!

We have also devised a Fempreneur referral program. When you sign up for this you will get a unique referral link for this story. By sharing your unique referral link with your friends you’ll earn points. The more points you have, the greater your chances are of winning our next sponsored GRAND PRIZE. GRAND PRIZES are awarded bi-monthly. Read on to see examples of previous GRAND PRIZES 

We hope you will join our Fempreneur community and learn how this unique program can help business owners accelerate their success with practical guidance and support from our 11 global coaches. We want to share this opportunity worldwide and hope you will join us as a referral partner. All you have to do is sign up below and share your unique link with your friends –  and don’t forget to check out the details of the Fempreneur program. Maybe you could be our next success story!

Sign up for the referral program here:

Lots of Love,
Nestene and Peter


PS: Everyone needs a Sommerville, so if you haven’t had a Virtual Coffee with her yet, we suggest you arrange one soonest. 😉 Connect with her HERE or you can send her an email to vasommerville@gmail.com

Saving the Global economy, one small business at a time