UBR Spotlight: Meet Successful Teen CEO Leanna Archer

More on the entrepreneurs, business strategies and economic news featured on The Urban Business Roundtable

Leanna Archer was nine years old when she founded her hair and skin products company in 2005. (Image: Courtesy of Subject)

This week on The Urban Business Roundtable, UBR Contributor Dywaine Betts Jr. talks with Leanna Archer, who at age 16 is the CEO of Leanna’s Inc., a creator and marketer of hair and skin-care products. The Central Islip, New York company, launched by Archer when she was just nine years old, now generates annual revenues of more than $100,000.

It all started in 2005, when Archer wanted to start her own hair product line, determined to share her great grandmother’s secret hair recipes. She created the line, which includes shampoos, conditioners and lotions infused with avocado, hibiscus and other natural oils from her family’s native Haiti. Today, Archer has expanded her company’s offerings to include body care products. Her diligence and commitment to entrepreneurship has not gone unnoticed. Her achievements include recognition by BET’s Black Girls Rock and being the youngest person to ever ring the opening bell for NASDAQ. This extraordinary young CEO joins the Roundtable to share what inspired her entrepreneurial ambition.

Also on the Roundtable,UBR Contributor Samantha Pass speaks to one of America’s top small business experts, Melinda F. Emerson, also know as Small Biz Lady. An author, speaker and small business coach, her areas of expertise include small business start-ups, business development and social media marketing. Emerson, also the CEO of Quintesssence Multimedia, hosts the weekly #SmallBizChat on Twitter, and is the author of Become Your Own Boss In 12 Months: A Month By Month Guide to A Business That Works.

Last week in my Alfred’s Notepad segment, I talked about the third annual Small Business Saturday, the campaign to encourage holiday shoppers to spend with small business on November 24, 2012, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Then, I talked about what entrepreneurs need to do to step up and make the most of this opportunity to boost sales and introduce new customers to their businesses. This week, I am challenging consumers to take Small Business Saturday as an occasion to spend with Black-owned small business. These are the businesses most likely to create jobs where they are most desperately needed, in the urban communities that are suffering from the highest levels of unemployment.

Melinda F. Emerson, aka the Small Biz Lady (Image: Emerson Corey Cottrell)

And finally, every week on UBR, you’ll get motivation and inspiration from author and entrepreneurial icon Farrah Gray, a weekly wrap-up of business news from USA Today business correspondent Charisse Jones, our Patient Investor Report from Khoa X. Ho of Ariel Investments and key economic intelligence for small business owners from our UBR economists Derrick Collins and Rasheed Carter.

If you have a question you want answered or a topic you want addressed on The Urban Business Roundtable, connect with me at BE Insider, the social media network for people who are serious about Black Enterprise. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

Alfred Edmond Jr. is the senior VP/editor-at-large of Black Enterprise and the host of The Urban Business Roundtable, a weekly radio show, sponsored by Ariel Investments, airing CST Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m., Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on WVON-AM 1690, the Talk of Chicago. You can also listen live online at WVON.com. Check back each week for UBR Spotlight, which features additional resources, advice and information from and about the topics, entrepreneurs and experts featured on the show.

SAVE THE DATE for the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide, May 15-18, at Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio. Expect innovative sessions, high-powered speakers, and an early peek at the products, trends, and services you’ll need to stay ahead of the curve. Nominate your company or an outstanding entrepreneur in your network for our Small Business Awards! Also don’t miss the chance to enter our Elevator Pitch Competition to compete for $10,000 for your business. To find out more, visit www.blackenterprise.com/ec/

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