Who is Ja-Naé?

A Paradigm Shift in Thinking, Living, and Leading…

Combine an opera singer, social scientist, strategist, author, and innovator into one person and you’ll have Ja-Naé. A true Renaissance woman, she loves to step outside her comfort zone, both personally and professionally. Every day, Ja-Naé uses her 15 years of experience working with companies like Samsonite, AIG, Constant Contact, IHS, and Bain to help people make smarter decisions about how to start new companies and launch internal projects. An award-winning speaker, the recent publication of Ja-Naé’s book, The Startup Equation, provides a holistic approach for building a business and managing innovation, both from scratch and within an existing organization.

Previously, she authored How to Create a Revolution: A Step-by-Step Guide to History’s Social Influencers and How to Start Your Business with $100. Her impressive skill set and unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for the global community garnered Ja-Naé a nomination as one of New England’s Most Innovative Leaders of 2007. Ja-Naé also built a plethora of ventures, including Wild Women Entrepreneurs, Ja-Naé Duane Ventures, and The Leaders.

Adventurous, iconoclastic, and cutting-edge, Ja-Naé’s personal highlights include:

  • Being an award-winning public speaker since the age of 13
  • Co-founding the Massachusetts Artist Leaders Coalition
  • Founding the National Artistic Effort
  • Joining the faculty at Northeastern University’s Music Department (her alma mater)
  • Performing at the White House at 17 years old
  • Becoming an Ordained Minister
  • Becoming a published poet
  • Mentoring and advising over thousands of companies
  • Composing music soundtracks and over 100 compositions
  • Receiving the Key to the City of West Haven (twice)
  • Meditating at the Taizé monastery, in Taizé, France at every opportunity

Always innovative and always learning, Ja-Naé created her own major through a collaboration of Northeastern University and New England Conservatory, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Opera. She completed her graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University, and she obtained her Master of Arts degree in a collaborative program with the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she holds an Associate Degree from Boston University’s Opera Institute, and she currently studies Mark Oswald and Carrie Matheson at the Metropolitan Opera.

Watch her video bio to get to know her better.

“Enthusiastic. Energizing. Enterprising. Those are the words I would use to describe Ja-Naé Duane. She is a born leader who is passionate about making a change in the world and helping others succeed. I’ve seen her take Wild Women Entrepreneurs from a small organization to one of the leading places women turn to make their dreams of becoming a business owner come true. She will build our global community in the same way.”
— Shannon Cherry, CEO of Be Heard Solutions and Cherry Communications

“Ja-Naé’s initiative and drive is infectious. It’s clear how she’s been able to grow a great organization in such a short time. The relentless pursuit of her dreams keeps her far ahead of the curve.”
— John Bailey, President, My Event Guru

“Ja-Naé has all the qualities I admire in an entrepreneur–she is smart, unafraid of anything, and most of all, she understands how to create something from nothing–which, in this environment, is critical for young entrepreneurs everywhere. This is a must-read for people–especially women–starting their own business. And as a side note, from one opera-singing CEO to another, you go, girl!”
— Genevieve Thiers, Founder and CEO, Sittercity.com

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