Many teens mow lawns to earn a little extra cash, but this summer Giovanni Hollis is taking things to the next level.
The Warwick Academy graduate has started his own business, Home in One Property Management, offering lawn-mowing, hedge-trimming and pool-cleaning services.
“I wanted to do these things in property management, because I thought it was a viable business that had a large target audience,” the 17-year-old said.
“Anyone with a lawn, a pool or a hedge could book our services. I wanted to be my own boss and have my own hours and have something that was my own. I wanted to create something from the ground up. I wanted to do, build and continue.”
He has picked out a uniform and is currently waiting for it to be embroidered with Home in One Property’s logo.
Mr Hollis got assistance through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s summer student entrepreneur programme for people between the ages of 16 and 25.
Students involved, receive advice, encouragement and $900 to get their business off the ground.
“I bought my own lawnmower for $360,” Mr Hollis said proudly. “It was a very interesting experience to buy equipment I knew I’d need for my business.”
Given that he’s not yet old enough to drive a car, he’ll have to get a ride from his parents and grandparents to get from job to job.
“My family have been very supportive,” he said. “Both my parents are entrepreneurs on the side. My mother, Cathy Hollis, is a piano teacher, and my father, Calon Hollis, runs Cal’s Quality Driving School.”
He spent this week settling up consultations with potential clients.
The cost of each job depends on the job itself, the size of the yard or pool and what needs doing.
“Once I pass this phase, I will have a solid base of clients,” he said.
Mr Hollis thinks his advantage will be affordability and personableness.
“We are just a small business,” he said. “There is less bureaucracy involved in using our services.”
He thinks that many of his customers will be senior citizens who cannot afford to hire a professional landscaping company.
For that reason, he has decided to donate 5 per cent of his earnings to the Matilda Smith Williams Seniors Home in Devonshire.
“I have always wanted to make a social impact with whatever I do,” Mr Hollis said. “I have always had an interest in helping overlooked demographics of our society, with a better life and financial needs. When I was 11, I donated all of my birthday money to Matilda Smith Williams.
“I just gathered all my friends and family and said I wanted money rather than gifts. That was about $1,000. It has been an ongoing passion of mine.”
In September, he’ll be starting studies in bioengineering at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts.
“I really have an interest in all parts of Stem,” he said. “I wanted a really interdisciplinary major that I could make an impact with. I do. I thought engineering was a viable field for that. I hope to become a bioengineer, and entrepreneur. At Northeastern I hope to minor in global social entrepreneurship.”
• For more information telephone 777-4016, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see Facebook under “homeinone property”