15-Year-Old Hires CEO To Run Business While In High School

Noa Mintz's schedule is just like that of other teenagers: school, homework, friends, braces, hiring a chief executive officer. Yes, hiring a CEO. Mintz founded her own babysitter and nanny agency the summer before she entered seventh grade, according to CNN Money. But putting in 40 hours a week became too much. So Mintz brought in a CEO because a company that grosses $375,000 a year, by what the New York Post called a conservative estimate, needs someone attending to business.

It all started when Mintz complained to her mother about the quality of babysitters her family had. "At seven, I would tell my mom, 'You need to get more bang for your buck,'" Mintz told the Post. "It would drive me insane!"

Her mother, finally joking in response, said the girl should find a babysitter for the family, which includes three younger siblings. Mintz did. Then she started finding nannies for her mothers' friends in the summer of 2012 after spending the first part of the break from school as an intern at a non-profit. Nannies by Noa was born.

"I really had no expectations, but I figured I'd try," Mintz told CNN Money.

> Find a job as a nanny

She did more than try. Growing up on Manhattan's Upper West Side and with a father in private equity, she comes from affluence. She did get help from her family--her father is the registered business owner because Mintz is too young to sign the incorporation papers. But her business success comes from working hard. In 2013, she had 50 clients. Last year, the number hit 190.

Originally, Mintz charged people between $100 and $200 for placements. But even her clients said she didn't charge enough. Now her rates are on par with other agencies, which likely means she gets 15 percent of the first year of a nanny's salary, which can run between $50,000 and $80,000, according to the Post.

She actively looks for potential nannies. For example, here's a 2014 listing in Backstage, the trade magazine for stage performers in New York. It gives an idea of just how much Nannies by Noa has expanded: "Flexible full-time, part-time, one-time, and temporary childcare positions available in the Tri-State Area including the Hamptons, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Connecticut, Israel, and NYC." The ad advertised pay of between $15 and $25 per hour.

"This is a great job for people in the arts, given that you are making great money when you have time," her notice read. "We know that your schedule must change a lot, so we can work with you and find you jobs that match what your schedule is like."

"Noa interviewed me on the phone. I had no idea she was a kid. I was intimidated--she's so well-spoken," said Dahlia Weinstein, a 10-year nanny veteran placed by Mintz, to the Post.

Allison Johnson, a 26-year-old licensed social worker who had applied for a job as a nanny, became Mintz's CEO. Negotiating salary with Mintz was "a little bit of a challenge at first," Johnson said to the Post, "[But] I'm a feminist, and I really support women who do things for themselves and get their visions out there." They keep in touch by phone and e-mail--when Mintz is in study hall.

What does Mintz do in her spare time? She reads Seventeen and Entrepreneur magazines, watches Shark Tank, and knits. She also set up therapeutic knitting classes for young girls in southern Israel who were "traumatized by constant rocket fire from the Gaza Strip," according to the UJA-Federation of New York. So, add philanthropist to the list of early accomplishments.
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