Interview with Ryan Hickman

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Ryan’s Recycling

Ryan Hickman - Founder at 3 years old

California, USA

Ryan Hickman was only 3 when he first realised the benefit of recycling and the impact that he himself can make when getting himself involved in solving the ever-growing problem of waste. Soon after, with the help of friends and family Ryan set up his own business, Ryan’s Recycling. Since then, Ryan has received nation-wide recognition for his hard work and has scaled up his business, having an immeasurably positive impact. Now, age 9, Ryan is an inspiring addition to our kiddtrepreneurs – proving that a small goal can become something huge and that change may be only a plastic bottle away.

Inspired by this environmentally friendly attitude and business ambition, Kebloom asked Ryan a few questions about his business and what it took to get there.


1) How would you best describe Ryan’s Recycling?

I run a recycling business that collects cans, bottles (plastic and glass) from residential and commercial locations. I also speak at events to raise awareness about recycling.

“If a 9 year old like me can run a business, anyone can do it!”

2) What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?

My dad and I took a small bag of cans to the recycling centre when I was three years old. I loved it and have been doing it ever since.

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3) Who supported you in creating/building your business?

My parents and my grandma definitely helped me get started. I need all the help I can get with lifting the heavy containers of recycling and my dad drives me around to my customers.

“Follow your dreams and keep working hard at what you believe in.”

4) What advice would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs?

Follow your dreams and keep working hard at what you believe in. I always tell everyone that if a 9 year old like me can run a business, anyone can do it!

5) To what extent would a platform like Kebloom have helped you achieve your dreams?

It would be nice to have structured goals and a plan to follow when running a kid business.

6) What has been the best part about starting up a business?

I think it’s really cool that I can make a difference in the world by following my passion for recycling. Having my own business has allowed me to meet other amazing kids around the world and I love being an inspiration for other kids too.

7) What skills have you developed since being an entrepreneur?

I’m really good at math because of my business and my dad says I’m good at talking to people about my business. I love telling people how they can be better recyclers and I like it when people ask me to help them learn.

8) Can you share any recent wins or successes you have had with your business?

I started my Ryan’s Recycling Challenge at the first of the year and invited everyone to recycle with me for 5 months. Together, we recycled over 300,000 cans and bottles. We’ll be doing another challenge soon. We also raised money for my friends at The Pacific Marine Mammal Center. On a personal level, I was chosen as a 2017 CNN Young Wonder and MSN named me one of the top 15 kids making a difference on our planet for 2018. I also received an Ambassador for the Planet award from The Wyland Foundation.


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