Young and entrepreneurial at heart

September 21, 2018

Été en affaires gives kids  a boost

As part of CDEM’s summer business program (Été en affaires), a $500 bursary was awarded to Joshua Hildebrand (13 years old), his brother Caleb (11), and one of their friends, Kelton Penner (13), to develop their Brand Lawn Care company in Morden.

Kelton Penner, Caleb and Joshua Hildebrand

It all began in May. Joshua and Caleb received a lawn mower from a neighbour who was moving. The two boys had been caring for her lawn for three years. The lady, who was very pleased with their services, suggested they should continue and expand their clientele.

Word spread quickly, and the two young entrepreneurs were able to find additional customers. The two brothers explain they wouldn’t change summer jobs for anything in the world. “We love working outside during the summer. It’s really cool. We get to exercise while earning money.”

Liz Hildebrand, Joshua and Caleb’s mother, explains that it was the boys’ own initiative. “They wanted to do something different over the summer and save a bit of money. They set themselves a goal and had the will power to see it through. Most kids play video games during the summer, but they’re more responsible. I’m very proud of them. It also shows them that if you work hard, you can get what you want.”

To make sure their small business runs smoothly, Joshua and Caleb have split up the responsibilities. Caleb is quick to point out that his brother is the boss. “I take care of the administration,” says Joshua. “I do the scheduling, keep the client information, and make sure that all the work’s been done.”

Liz Hildebrand adds that when the older one’s not at home, the responsibility falls to the younger one. “It’s great to see how they use their skills and work together to be more effective.”

A few weeks after the launch of their business, a friend of Joshua’s, Kelton Penner, asked to join them. Thus the duo became a trio. When they heard about a bursary offered by CDEM, it was Caleb, an immersion student at Morden Middle School, who took the initiative to complete the application in French.

The three youth received $500, which allowed them to buy a new electric mower that’s easier to move, as well as a snow blower.

Thanks to an article in a local newspaper, the three entrepreneurs now have 11 clients, and that number could increase. Joshua explains that they received several calls after the article. “Many have already told us that they’ll be re-contacting us in the spring.”

And when asked what they’ll do with the money earned, the three entrepreneurs gave a unanimous and very mature answer for