Skip to main content

FunTimes Magazine

Jonathan Williams

Jonathan Williams founded the Chestnut Hill Cleaning Company at age 16. He and his friends needed money, they knew that college was approaching and that they would need real financial resources. So, they brain stormed what they could do that others would not want to, that’s how they came up with the idea for the cleaning company. The next day Jonathan printed business cards. His business grew from shoveling neighbors’ sidewalks to working with a large list of commercial and residential clients, providing services that range from carpet cleaning to waste removal.

Aside from his cleaning company, Jonathan also founded Sky is the Limit Entrepreneurial Program that teaches youth in grades 5 to 8 the basics of entrepreneurship. Williams Jonathan aims to expand this program and to help give others middle school-age the tools to pursue their own business.

How did you figure out what your passion is?

At a very young age, still a kid, I realized that I liked to make deals. I didn’t really look at the business, but stepping into it and seeing the possibilities, I knew that it was a passion of mine. I still remember making my first business cards on a copier with construction papers. I pinned them together with a paper clip, showed them to my friends and we started handing them out.

From then on I’ve just been hungry to achieve and move to the next level. That same drive is what makes it almost like reading a deep romance novel or watching a scary movie where you just have to keep going even when you know you should’ve been doing something else.

What has been the most rewarding part of your journey so far?

Hands down to my journey of becoming an African American entrepreneur is beating the statistics and trying to bring my brothers and family on that journey with me. The statistics show that my chances of going to jail in my lifetime are 1 out of 3. I remember when I first heard that statistics from my godfather as a kid and I still remember it today. I have decided that will not be my reality, and so I’m doing what I can do to beat those odds. There are so many other statistics that apply to who I am as a human being, and that just stands as one example.

However, I know who I am because of my journey. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I’m capable of. I recognize my weaknesses and have learned to adjust. Knowing that I can be a successful leader puts the responsibility on me. I am proud to employ other young African American males and know that I am making a difference in their lives.

What else would you like to accomplish?

I would like to explore other business ventures, but right now, in addition to the cleaning business, I run an afterschool program in North Philadelphia at the Cecil B Moore Recreation Center called, “Sky is the Limit Entrepreneurial Program”, and I would love to see that expand. As far as other plans are concerned, I love to travel and perhaps would like to enter international business one day.

What advice would you give to other young people beginning their careers?

I would advise them to take chances and believe in themselves. I would also suggest that they surround themselves with positive and successful individuals. Listening to, and availing themselves to elders will prove to be rewarding.

What does being a part of the African Diaspora mean to you?

As an African American male, I have always known that I had to work harder than my white male counterparts.I know my potential and have had many successes. I expect to continue on that path despite any stereotypes, or negative thoughts that Black men are hopeless. I believe this country has perpetuated the negative Black male stereotypes, and that has forced me to prove myself and to excel.

Nominated by Kittura Dior