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CEO Brandon Frere: 8-Year-Old Has 5-Year-Old Business Recycling Cans and Bottles

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CEO Brandon Frere: 8-Year-Old Has 5-Year-Old Business Recycling Cans and Bottles

PR Newswire

PETALUMA, Calif., Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2012, at the age of 3, Ryan Hickman went to his local recycler with his dad and cashed in some cans and bottles. The next day, Ryan asked his parents for extra trash bags to give to neighbors so they could start saving for him. Starting very slowly with friends and neighbors, Ryan and his father spent several years in relative obscurity. The business grew steadily and Ryan became interested in giving a chunk of his profits to a favorite charity. His slow, quiet start paid off five years after his humble start when he began gaining recognition for the huge numbers of cans and bottles he has recycled. Ryan has turned in 373,000 cans and bottles, donating over $8,000 to a marine mammal rescue center while saving more than $10,000 for a garbage truck to take his business to the next level. Brandon Frere, CEO of Frere Enterprises and other ventures, sees a true entrepreneur in Ryan who is willing to start slowly out of his own personal passion. Frere thinks constantly about how to move his enterprise forward, consistently building solutions for multifaceted challenges.

"This is a terrific story and, though you never know how things will turn out, it seems obvious that this kid has focus and determination," said Frere. "I don't know what I was doing at 3 years of age, but I don't think I was starting my own business."

Starting with neighbors on his street, his slow growth built organically. As neighbors and friends alerted other neighbors and friends, his reach spread through word of mouth. Now Ryan's father drives him throughout Orange County in Southern California. Perhaps people were fired up to donate when Ryan switched from purely making money for himself to donating a large amount of his profits to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. The connection is a natural one. His business builds workable solutions for the challenges facing the ocean environment in two ways. First, his recycling keeps cans and bottles from reaching the ocean. Second, the money he gives helps in the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals, such as seals and sea lions, that are victims of polluted waters and human-caused injuries from boats and even guns.

The connection to philanthropy seemed to make a big difference. Instead of Ryan's Recycling just being the story of a charming young kid with a mature work ethic, he was also positively impacting the world and this made his customers want to help him. Beginning in 2017, the slow build toward success and organic philanthropic connection really began to pay off for him. Ryan began receiving awards. He was honored as Pacific Marine Mammal Center's Philanthropist of the Year. CNN gave him its Young Wonder Award. He made the MSN Top 15 Kids Changing the World and a dozen more awards and honors. He appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show and has been featured on most of the major networks.

But mostly, as he has done since beginning the project, Ryan works. He and his dad do their pickups and they sort at home, and then take the recyclables to a center where he cashes them in. Like any entrepreneur, Ryan manages to stay laser-focused on the big picture. His business is about loading, sorting and weighing cans, bottles and glass and that's what he does most days - an 8-year-old boy with five years of entrepreneurial and recycling experience.

"I love that his philanthropic connection actually fed his business. There are so many great lessons to learn here. Entrepreneurs search for markets and build products for those markets, building slowly, making organic connections that build client interaction and trust, acquiring the skills and capital to go the next level," said Frere. "This young man is doing all of this, at a very young age."

About Brandon Frere

Brandon Frere is an entrepreneur and businessman who lives in Sonoma County, California. He has designed and created multiple companies to meet the ever-demanding needs of businesses and consumers alike. His website, www.BrandonFrere.com, is used as a means of communicating many of the lessons, fundamentals, and information that he has learned throughout his extensive business and personal endeavors, most recently in advocating on behalf of student loan borrowers nationwide.

As experienced during his own student loan repayment, Mr. Frere found out how difficult it can be to work with federally contracted student loan servicers and the repayment programs designed to help borrowers. Through those efforts, he gained an insider's look into the repayment process and the motivations behind the inflating student loan debt bubble. His knowledge of the often confusing landscape of student loan repayment became a vital theme in his future endeavors, and he now uses those experiences to help guide others through the daunting process of applying for available federal repayment and loan forgiveness programs.

BrandonFrere.com

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