Landscaping business fosters entrepreneurship – Eagle News Online
CAZENOVIA — Last year, Matthew Maggio launched a Cazenovia-based landscaping company with a unique mission: to support and fund young entrepreneurs and tradespeople in their pursuits of owning their own businesses.
The company, Scholars Landscaping, LLC, provides scheduled mowing, weeding and brush removal, pruning and plant care, edging and trimming, and seasonal clean-up to the communities of Manlius, Fayetteville, Cazenovia, Canastota, Oneida, Pompey, and East Syracuse .
The startup recently completed its first season in business.
Rather than own the company by himself and hire employees, Maggio has opted to partner with young adults and high-school students and make them shareholders in the business.
“They share in the profits [of] the business as an owner,” Maggio said. “. . . They don’t work for me; they work for themselves. They have the right to sell their shares back to the company at the end of the year or continue on as an owner into the future.”
According to Maggio, the partners gain a lot of the skills required to own a business, such as setting schedules, managing time and expenses, communicating, forming interpersonal and customer relationships, and developing a good work ethic.
In addition to mentoring and providing opportunities to young people, the business also plans to donate a portion of its profits back to local school districts to help fund business classes and scholarships.
On Nov. 17, Scholars Landscaping made its first donation, totaling $1,000, to the Cazenovia Central School District (CCSD).
“I know this is a small amount this year, but I expect to donate more and more as the years and our business [progress],” said Maggio.
According to Maggio, the donation to CCSD will be put toward a scholarship for a high school graduate pursuing education in the trades and entering a career path outside of the collegiate route.
“We are very lucky to have someone like Matt in our community,” said Cazenovia High School Business Teacher Christina New. “[The] addition of this unique scholarship opportunity better allows our business students to be financially successful in their career choices and interests.”
New also said that Scholars Landscaping will add to her Work-Based Learning class by giving students another opportunity to gain hands-on work and entrepreneurial experiences before they leave high school.
“We are so thankful to Matt,” she said.
According to Maggio, Scholars Landscaping plans to donate 25 percent of its profits to a school district within its service area each year.
“In my opinion, we do not support or give enough emphasis to young, motivated people to pursue entrepreneurship,” he said. “There is always the pressure to excel in school with a sole focus [on] college and higher learning. It is rare that an alternative is offered to successfully learn and pursue a trade [or own] your own business. I wanted to bridge that gap and create that pathway.”
Maggio added that he has four daughters in CCSD, and he is happy to donate to their school to help improve not only their futures but also the futures of their friends and students in years to come.
“As we grow in scope, I would love to be able to donate to other schools and create opportunities for these districts as well,” he said.
Maggio, who currently resides on a small farm outside Cazenovia, has worked in the animal health sector for 20 years. He is also the owner of MZ Securities, LLC, and an owner/partner in Mad Tacos, a restaurant on Route 20 East in Nelson.
He said his decision to start a lawn service was based on multiple factors.
Firstly, he explained, the work itself can be fun and the skillset required of the job can be easily picked up by all age groups.
“The learning curve is relatively low,” he said.
Secondly, the job incentivizes hard work since it is directly correlated with profitability.
Lastly, because he lives on a farm, Maggio already owned a lot of the necessary equipment.
“I donated [that] equipment to the business to help kick-start these young entrepreneurs in a landscaping business,” he said. “It seemed like a natural fit.”
To learn more about Scholars Landscaping, visit scholarslandscape.com.