Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held for New Businesses in New Orleans East at the Executive Plaza

September 10, 2020. Fifteen businesses celebrated their grand opening with a ribbon cutting at the Executive Plaza, which is home to nearly 50 businesses and a hub for economic development in New Orleans East. Continue reading “Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held for New Businesses in New Orleans East at the Executive Plaza”

Lakischia Smith: How Free Haircuts to HealthCare Heroes Began

Lakischia Smith
Lakischia Smith, RN and Owner of WHO DAT BarberShop

I am a Registered Nurse and the Owner of WHO DAT BarberShop, Inc. It has always been a goal of mine to intermingle the two different areas of my life and the Pandemic gave me the perfect situation. 


After working with COVID-19 patients on my job, I knew all too well the health risking conditions that healthcare workers were enduring to continue to provide for their families. I also saw healthcare workers going weeks and months without getting a haircut or proper grooming. We all had the same desire to look and feel good again amid the quarantine. 


So I stepped up to the Local Heroes Challenge by partnering with Personal Touch Mobile Detailing to feed more than 140 frontline workers. We gave meals to Acadian Ambulance and Ochsner Extended Care Hospital. The event was a success, but I still felt like I wanted to do more. By this time, my business had reopened after being closed for exactly two months with no income. WHO DAT BarberShop quickly reopened but I noticed business was slower due to all the continued restrictions secondary to the social distancing regulations. 


I decided to give Free Haircuts to HealthCare Heroes because that is what I love to do — help others. I knew Our HealthCare Heroes deserved it and I wanted to help them to look and feel good again during these crazy times. But I felt bad about asking my Barbers, Ro, Devin and Kim, to cut hair for free, knowing they had lost all income for two months and were recovering financially themselves. So I added the Fundraiser to help me pay for the Haircut Services, matching it dollar for dollar. 


Lakischia is the mother of four sons whom she encourages and teaches Entrepreneurship. In addition to having a career and being an entrepreneur, she enjoys  reading and mentoring others. 

Free Haircuts Flyer



Participate in UNO’s Small Business Survey and receive cash!

The University of New Orleans Urban Entrepreneurship and Policy Institute is conducting a survey on entrepreneurship in New Orleans for people who are starting businesses, have hustles, or have small businesses.

If you fall into one of these categories, please fill out the short intake form at tinyurl.com/BusinessActivitySurvey, and UNO will contact you with information to complete a more comprehensive survey, after which you will receive $40.

Note: This survey would have been administered as part of the New Orleans East Franchise Workshop, which has been postponed. While arrangements are made to reschedule, please provide the requested information. Thank you.