14 famous businesses that were launched with less than 190 thousand pesos

With less than $ 10,000 dollars (adjusted for inflation), these 14 entrepreneurs turned their ideas into business.

15+ min read

How much money is required to start a new business from scratch? Although financial needs vary depending on the type of business, a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation establishes the average cost at more than $ 30,000 in the United States. But if you are going to open a micro business, the Small Business Administration of that country estimates that the process requires much less initial money.

14 famous businesses that were launched with less than 190 thousand pesos
14 famous businesses that were launched with less than 190 thousand pesos

It is important to calculate the expected costs before launching a business, but you should know that you don't necessarily have to have a lot of money to get your idea off the ground. For these 14 entrepreneurs, it took them a dream and less than $ 10,000 to convert their business idea is a successful reality. Here we tell you how they did it.

1. Plenty of Fish

Plenty of Fish

Image: S3studio | Getty Images

Markus Frind told Business Vancouver that the most he has invested in Plenty of Fish was $ 500. He started with the app in 2003 without much planning. According to the Wall Street Journal , Frind created the site to keep busy. Plenty of Fish generates profits through advertising and premium membership, and since the day one has been profitable.

“By the time I discovered what risk investments were, I was already earning millions in profits, and I didn't need financing because I hadn't known what to do with it,” Frind told TWSJ .

In 2015, Frind turned his $ 500 investment into $ 575 million when Match Group bought his company. Plenty of Fish is now one of the largest dating companies in the world, with more than 150 million registered users. The app is available in more than 20 countries and in 11 languages.

  • In 2003: $ 500 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 690 +

2. Wringley


Image: Bloomberg | Getty Images

It took only $ 32 to create the largest gum factory in the world .

In spring of 1891, William Wrigley Jr. moved to Chicago to begin his career as a salesman. The 29-year-old entrepreneur sold soaps and later baking flour. When the chewing gum offered as an additional benefit became popular among its customers, it decided to focus on the gum business.

Two years later, Wrigley launched Juicy Fruit, the oldest brand in the Wrigley family. Months later Wrigley's Spearmint came out . By 1908, Wrigley's Spearmint's sales were more than $ 1,000,000.

Since 2008, Wringley is owned by Mars Incorporated. In 2016, the candy company announced that Wrigley would merge with its chocolate segment to form a new subsidiary, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, joining brands such as Juicy Fruit, M M's, Skittles and Orbit.

  • In 1891: $ 32 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 850 +

3. John Paul Mitchell Systems

John Paul Mitchell Systems

Image: Wolterk | Getty Images

It was 1980 and John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell had an idea for a hair care business. They wanted someone to invest $ 160,000 dollars, but there was no one interested. DeJoria and Mitchell decided to do it alone. With just $ 700 in the bag they founded John Paul Mitchell Systems .

Friends were determined to differentiate their business. Their professional products without animal tests and free from animal cruelty were sold exclusively in salons with a money back guarantee.

“Make sure your product or service is the best there is,” DeJoria said in an interview for in English . “With Paul Mitchell, it had to be such a good product to be approved by stylists, who are the ones who know the most about hair, and it is who we sell it to. You will never see Paul Mitchell in a pharmacy or in a supermarket. ”

The hair care company, which started with two shampoos and a conditioner, now sells more than 100 products. John Paul Mitchell Systems has a presence in more than 100 countries and has its products in more than 100,000 salons in North America.

  • In 1980 : $ 700 dollars
  • In current dollars : $ 2,180 +

4. Dell


Image: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

In 1984, Michael Dell founded Dell Computer in his dormitory at the University of Texas, in Austin. He was only 19 years old.

“I started the company with $ 1,000 a week before doing my final exams in my first year of the race,” he told CNBC .

“Maybe it wasn't such a good idea, but when you're 19, you haven't developed all the skills you need in terms of judgment and rational thinking,” he added.

The young entrepreneur sold computers that he customized. Soon I was earning between $ 50,000 and $ 80,000 dollars a month. He left school to focus on the growth of his business and never looked back.

Four years after its launch, the company was made public. In 1992, the founder became the youngest CEO to reach the Fortune 500 list. In 2016, the multinational became Dell Technologies after merging with EMC Corporation. Dell Technologies has a market capitalization of $ 37 billion.

  • In 1984 : $ 1,000 dollars
  • In current dollars : $ 2,470 +

5. Pope John’s

Pope John’s

Image: Bloomberg | Getty Images

The business that eventually became Pope John’s began in a strange location. In 1984, John Schnatter started the pizzeria in a cleaning closet, in the back of his dad's tavern, with $ 1,600 in used restaurant equipment.

“Back, we were selling dollars for $ 5 dollars, and in front of beers for 50 cents,” he told .

“The original goal was to earn $ 50 (one thousand) a year and have $ 50 (one thousand) in the bank to have an appointment,” he added.

For Papa John's to grow, Schnatter began to franchise. Now it has more than 5,000 locations in 45 countries and territories around the world. The pizzas chain listed on the stock market has a market value of more than $ 2 billion.

Schnatter no longer runs the company he founded. In 2017 he stopped being the CEO after blaming the protests in the NFL for his bad sales. Two years later, Schnatter resigned as president of the chain after admitting the use of racist language. However, it remains one of the majority shareholders.

  • In 1984: $ 1,600 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 3,955 +

6. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Image: Pizza Hut

Dan and Frank Carney were unusual entrepreneurs. None knew anything about the pizza business, but in 1958 they borrowed $ 600 from their mother to open a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas.

Two weeks before opening, they managed to find someone to teach them how to prepare pizza. And they put Pizza Hut because there was only room for eight letters on their sign.

Despite its inexperience, the business was a success. Eventually, the brothers began to franchise. After the first decade, Pizza Hut grew to 310 locations. In 1971, Pizza Hut became the most important pizzeria in the world, in terms of sales and quantity of restaurants.

In 1977, the brothers sold the company to PepsiCo for more than $ 300 million. Currently, Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum Brands, which also own KFC and Taco Bell. Pizza Hut operates more than 18,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

  • In 1984: $ 600 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 5,330 +

7. Apple


Image: SOPA Images | Getty Images

Steve Jobs built a business that revolutionized the technology industry. It all started with an investment of $ 1,350. In 1975, Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak launched Apple in the garage of Jobs's parents.

In an interview, Jobs said: “It's the reason we started the company. We said: 'You know, we have nothing to lose.' I was 20 years old, Woz was 24 or 25, so we had nothing to lose. We had no family, no children or houses. Woz had an old car, I had a van, that is, the only thing we could lose were our cars and what we were wearing. ”

By 1985, Jobs's relationship with Apple had become bitter. Jobs resigned that same year. In 1997 he returned when Apple bought NeXT, a company that ran Jobs.

Before Jobs died in 2011 of pancreatic cancer, he left a legacy of innovation that includes the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac and iTunes. Apple is the most valuable company in the world, worth more than a trillion dollars.

  • In 1975: $ 1,350 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 6,450 +

8. Domino's Pizza

Dominos Pizza

Image: Domino's

In 1960, Tom Monaghan, along with his brother James, borrowed $ 900 dollars to buy “DomiNick's,” a Michigan pizzeria that was going bankrupt. While Tom was engaged in business, his brother left the business tired. A year later, James changed his half of the business for Tom's Beetle. In 1965, Tom became the sole owner of the business and renamed it Domino's Pizza .

At the head of the pizzeria, Tom served the recipe that would become the success of the chain. He simplified the menu, set very strict standards for ingredients, limited the number of sizes and toppings, and offered home delivery in less than 30 minutes. By 1985, Domino’s was the fastest growing restaurant chain in the United States.

1998, Monahgan retired and left the property of the company to Bain Capital Inc. For an estimated value of one billion dollars. Today, Domino's has 16,500 stores, 10,000 of which are outside the United States.

  • In 1975: $ 900 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 7,800 +

9. Johnson Publishing

Johnson Publishing

Image: Bettmann | Getty Images

John Johnson had the mission of forming his own narrative. With a loan of $ 500 that he requested from his mother, he started the Johnson Publishing company in 1942.

“On November 1, 1945 I started Ebony,” Johnson wrote in his autobiography Succeeding Against the Odds: The Autobiography of a Great American Businessman . “On November 1, 1951 I started Jet. In other November and other years, I founded Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Supreme Beauty Products and bought shares in the Supreme Life insurance company, where I started my career as a fellow.”

For a while, Johnson Publishing enjoyed significant success, but in recent years they have been having problems. In 2016, Ebony and Jet were sold to a private equity firm. Three years later, Johnson Publishing declared bankruptcy. In 2019, a consortium of foundations bought the photographic archives of Ebony and Jet for $ 30 million. That year, Fashion Fair Cosmetics was sold to its former managers and a founder of hedge funds for $ 1.85 million. ”

  • In 1942: $ 500 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 7,880 +

10. Spanx


Image: Wolterk | Getty Images

It all started with stockings, scissors and a great idea.

Sara Blakely was trying on her pants in front of the mirror, and she didn't like how she looked from behind. Blakely decided to wear his stockings with abdomen control under his pants, and cut off the part of his feet. That's how Spanx's body-shaping stockings were born.

Blakely started Spanx in 1998 with $ 5,000 dollars from his own bag. All the factories and companies rejected her, and she continued to work full time while looking for opportunities for Spanx in her spare time.

“A lot of people want to start big and think big, and end up getting too far ahead,” he told the students at Stanford's business school . “That can end up being a great success, but it can also cause you many problems. You dilute yourself and end up having to respond to many people. ”

From rejection to reward: Spanx is now a familiar name. In its first year, the company earned $ 4 million in profits. Blakely is one of the youngest billionaires who has built her fortune alone.

  • In 1998: $ 5,000 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 7,880 +

11. Subway


Image: picture alliance | Getty Images

At 17, Franck DeLuca didn't know anything about selling sandwiches, but what he did know was that he wanted to open a store to sell them.

“When I started my business, I was not 'of the poorest'” DeLuca wrote in her book Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Key Lessons to Start – and Run- Your Own Successful Business . “But at that time I didn't have money, I didn't have partners or I knew how to run a business. He was a 17-year-old boy who needed to find a way to pay for college. I needed resources. When a family friend offered me a small loan to start a business selling sandwiches, it changed everything in my life. ”

That family friend was Dr. Peter Buck. In 1965, Buck lent DeLuca $ 1,000 to start Pete's Super Submarine in Connecticut, which would eventually become a Subway .

For many clients, it was love at the first bite. Subway raises millions of dollars annually in sales and has more than $ 40,000 locations in the world.

  • In 1965: $ 1,000 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 8,160 +

12. Kroger


Image: Bloomberg | Getty Images

It all started with $ 372 dollars and a store of 5 square meters.

In 1883, Barney Kroger used his lifelong savings to open his first grocery store in downtown Cincinnati. Kroger traces its origins to the Great Western Tea Company, founded by Kroger and BA Branagan. A year later, Kroger bought his share from his partner. 25 years after opening its first store, Kroger had more than 100 locations.

Kroger sought to revolutionize the store experience. His mantra was “Never sell something you wouldn't want to buy.” Kroger was the first to put his own bakery inside the stores, as well as the first to put groceries and meats under the same roof.

Acquisitions have played a key role in Kroger's growth, including the merger with Dillon Companies and the combination with Fred Meyer of 1999. Today, Kroger has nearly 2,500 stores in 31 states in the United States.

  • In 1883: $ 372 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 9,450 +

13. Hewlett-Packard


Image: JOSH EDELSON | Getty Images

In 1939, Hewlett-Packard started in a garage in Palo Alto, California. The founders, Bill Hewlett and David Packard , became friends while studying engineering at Stanford University.

Hewlett-Packard's first revolutionary product was an audio oscillator. The device caught the attention of the Walt Disney studios that used it to produce the Fantasia movie.

“At the end of 1939, our first full year in business, our total sales were $ 5,369 and we had made $ 1,563 of profits,” wrote David Packard in his book The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I Built Our Company . “After that we had profits every year.”

Hewlett and Packard formalized their partnership in 1939 and decided on the name of the company by throwing a coin. The co-founders joined their money and equipment and started the business with $ 538 dollars.

In 2015, Hewlett-Packard was divided into two companies, separating its company from business products and services such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Hewlett-Packard maintained personal computers and the printer business and renamed it HP.

  • In 1883: $ 538 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 9,950 +

14. Nike


Image: Claudio Lavenia | Getty Images

Nike started as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. Bill Bowerman, coach of the University of Oregon, and Phil Knight, his former student, founded the company with an investment of $ 1,200.

Knight was trying to take off his business of importing running shoes from Japan. At a business lunch, Knight showed his former coach the Onitsuka Tiger shoes he had just received, and Bowerman liked them so much that he partnered with him.

“I looked at him. You are inside? It's a deal? It took me a while to absorb and understand what he was telling me, ”Knight wrote in his memory Shoe Dog: A Memoria by the Creator of Nike . “It wasn't that he wanted to buy a dozen Tigers for his team. I wanted to be a partner? If God had spoken through the wind and told me that he wanted to be my partner I would not have been so surprised. I stuttered and stuttered and said yes. ”

The multinational company that started selling sports shoes, now also designs, manufactures and sells clothes, accessories and equipment. Nike has a market value of almost $ 126 billion.

  • In 1964: $ 1,200 dollars
  • In current dollars: $ 9,950 +

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