Babysitting is a great way to make some quick cash while you’re a teenager. I’m sure that’s what 15-year-old New York City native Noa Mintz was thinking when she started her own babysitting business. However, I think she set her sights somewhat higher than having extra spending money for shopping. She took the simple idea of a babysitting network and turned it into a half-million-dollar company called Nannies by Noa in just three years.
So how did this little entrepreneur do it? The idea actually came from her own experience with babysitters (which she probably remembers well, since it was only a few years ago). She was never thrilled with the sitters she had and felt there must be a better way to match sitters with families and children. “For what you’re paying, your kids should be more stimulated,” says the teen. “At 7, I would tell my mom, ‘You need to get more bang for your buck.’ It would drive me insane!” Noa told the New York Post. This kid already talked like a CEO before she was even a double-digit age!
She started building her nanny network through her own babysitting circle (yes, she was once one herself), at her gym and through college career websites. Each nanny is thoroughly screened through interviews, social media, background and reference checks, resumes and, of course, photos. If you’re hired, you get put in a database that matches you with prospective families. The site originally charged clients $100 to $200 for a nanny match, but now it does it by rates, which can be anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour.
Since she’s still a minor, Noa’s father helped her open an LLC for her exponentially growing business. The company takes a standard 15 percent fee from each nanny’s initial gross salary — usually somewhere between $50,000 and $80,000 — which seems incredibly lucrative, and I’m seriously considering applying.
Right now, the agency serves 191 clients in the New York City area and employs 50 full-time nannies and 100 babysitters, who work approximately 15 hours a week, but the agency is always looking to increase its numbers. Now, long-time, seasoned nannies are calling Noa up, looking to assume a spot in her database.
“Noa interviewed me on the phone. I had no idea she was a kid. I was intimidated — she’s so well-spoken,” says Dahlia Weinstein, 37, to the New York Post.
Her business has grown so much in such a short time that Noa needed to hire a CEO so she could still attend school and feign the life of a normal teenage girl. Cue Allison Johnson, a 26-year-old social worker who had actually initially applied to be a nanny.
“In the summer, Noa reached out to me and told me she was starting high school,” Johnson told ABC. “I had no idea she was a minor. Noa’s definitely unique. She’s extremely advanced as far as being business savvy. We always saw this mutual respect for each other.”
According to Noa’s mom, Meredith Berkman, this entrepreneurial ambition is inherent in her. She told the New York Post, “Noa is a natural-born serial entrepreneur — from 6 or 7, she was always trying to start these mini-companies.”
While she was certainly always ambitious, I’m sure her mom had no idea her drive would take her this far so fast. However, her decision to hire a CEO definitely shows she wants to hold on to some aspect of her kid life as long as she can. Her ambition is a powerful force, though, and we will no doubt see great things from Noa as she comes into adulthood.
Noa told ABC News, “I want to continue to see the business grow geographically with the number of clients and investors. I want to become the nation’s leading child care agency.” Based on her story, I would say that’s a pretty achievable goal, Noa.