Becoming a CEO at age 9, she was the youngest entrepreneur to ring the NASDAQ opening bell

October 16, 2019 at 09:30 am | Success Story, Women

Theodora Aidoo

Theodora Aidoo | Staff Writer

October 16, 2019 at 09:30 am | Success Story, Women

Pic Credit: TheYoungEmpire/WordPress.coom

At an early age of nine, Leanna Archer from New York became the CEO of her own hair product line, Leanna’s Inc. It later earned her the bragging right as the youngest entrepreneur (age 13) to ever enter the New York Stock exchange – NASDAQ.

Using her great grandmother’s secret recipe, young Archer decided to bottle, package and sell the hair products that had been in her family for generations.

“In Haiti, Archer’s great grandmother Lea Lebon made a natural hair dressing using the country’s native plants — hibiscus, avocado, almond and rosemary oils, shipping vats to the family in the U.S. Later, while staying with the family, her great grandmother shared the formula with Leanna,” the Caribbean life revealed.  

The seven-year-old Archer at the time reportedly gave some of the hairdressing to friends with portions handed out in baby food jars. She soon started getting orders and once she made a hundred dollar, she got a business license.

Leanna Archer started mixing ingredients for her haircare products at home. Pic Credit Gregory Archer

While operating from the basement of the family’s Central Islip home, in 2015 Archer’s company was reportedly grossing almost $500,000 annually.

She currently makes millions of dollars through Leanna Inc. As of 2013, according to a report, Archer’s net worth was estimated to be around $3.2 million.

The now 20-year-old CEO of Leanna’s Inc. is a motivational speaker who’s committed to the development of today’s teens.

Aged 13 at the time, Archer, who lived all her life in the US traveled to Haiti for the first time and was named Child Ambassador of Haiti by then-President Rene Preval.

Archer’s return to her root birth a new idea in her that led to the Leanna Archer Education Foundation. “I met kids who had never been to school, who had to take care of their family, while I was playing with Barbie dolls,” she said.

In a bid to give back to her community, in 2008 Leanna founded LAEF- Leanna Archer Education Foundation in Haiti where her family came from.

Leanna Archer Education Foundation provides three meals daily and an education to nearly 200 children. LAEF also helps develop each child’s vocational talents and skills.

Archer was honored for her entrepreneur skills at the 2009 NAACP Youth Workshop. She’s been a speaker at many event aimed at encouraging young people including the Black Enterprise’s Teenpreneur’s Conference and she was a panelist at the “What Makes A Young Champion” Forum in Singapore.

She was invited by Apple to the 2010 Education Leadership Summit, an invite-only forum gathering hundreds of Education executives dedicated to bringing innovation and technology to the classroom.

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Leanna Archer , CEO of Leanna Inc. Pic Credit:

She’s even held business lectures and classes at the University of West Alabama, Binghamton University, Columbia University, MIT and the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Archer was recognized by Janet Jackson and management team. She met with them at the Radio City Hall and Janet is scheduling a trip to Haiti with Leanna later on this year to her Foundation. Her dream is to build a school for kids in Tabar, Haiti.

She was a recipient of the 2015 Caribbean Life Impact Award. She was a Janet Jackson “20 under 20 Honoree” and was also honoured on the BET’s Black Girls Rock award show in 2011.

She chunked awards that included the Grio’s 100 class of 2012 Business Award, the Caribbean American heritage Visioneur award in 2013 & a Youth Honoree recipient of the 2013 McDonalds 365Black Award.

She has become an inspiration and motivation to an evolving generation of youngsters who hope to run their own businesses, no matter how young they are.

Today, she is considered has one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the US who are under 30.

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