14 famous companies that started with less than 190,000 pesos

How much money does it take to start a new business from scratch? Although financial needs vary by type of business, the average cost in the US is over $ 30,000, according to a study by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. However, if you are looking to start a micro business, the Small Business Administration of this country appreciates that the process requires a lot less initial money.

It is important to calculate the expected costs before starting a business. However, you should know that it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of money to get your idea off the ground. For these 14 entrepreneurs, it was a dream and less than $ 10,000 to turn their business idea into a successful reality. Here we tell you how they did it.

1. Lots of fish

14 famous companies that started with less than 190,000 pesos
14 famous companies that started with less than 190,000 pesos

Lots of fish

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Markus Frind told Business Vancouver Most of what he invested in Plenty of Fish was $ 500. He started using the app in 2003 without much planning. According to him Wall Street Journal, Frind created the site to keep you busy. Many fish generate income through advertising and premium membership and have been profitable from day one.

“When I found out what venture investments were, I was already making millions in profits and didn’t need any funding because I didn’t know what to do with them,” said Frind TWSJ.

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

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

2. Wringley


Image: Bloomberg | Getty Images

The world’s largest rubber factory was only $ 32 to found.

In the spring of 1891, William Wrigley Jr. moved to Chicago to begin his sales career. The 29-year-old entrepreneur sold soaps and later baking flour. When the chewing gum that he was offering as a bonus became popular with his customers, he decided to focus on the chewing gum business.

Two years later, Wrigley launched Juicy Fruit, the oldest brand in the Wrigley family. It came out months later Wrigley’s spearmint. By 1908, Wrigley’s Spearmint sales were over $ 1,000,000.

Wringley has been owned by Mars Incorporated since 2008. In 2016, the confectionery company announced that Wrigley will merge with its chocolate segment to form a new subsidiary, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, uniting brands such as Juicy Fruit, M Ms, Skittles and Orbit.

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

3. John Paul Mitchell Systems

John Paul Mitchell Systems

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It was 1980 and John Paul DeJoria and Paul Mitchell had an idea for a hair care business. They were looking for someone to invest $ 160,000, but no one was interested. DeJoria and Mitchell decided to go it alone. With only $ 700 in the pocket they started up John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Friends were determined to differentiate their business. Their professional, animal-free and cruelty-free products were only sold 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. “For Paul Mitchell, it had to be such a good product that it was approved by the stylists who know best about hair and whom we sell to. You will never see Paul Mitchell in a pharmacy or supermarket. “

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

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

4. Dell


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

“I started the company on $ 1,000 a week before I took my senior exams,” he said CNBC.

“Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea, but by the age of 19 you haven’t developed all of the skills you need for judgment and rational thinking,” he added.

The young entrepreneur sold computers that he customized. Soon he was making between $ 50,000 and $ 80,000 a month. He dropped out of school to focus on growing his business and never looked back.

Four years after it was founded, the company went public. In 1992 the founder was 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
  • In current dollars: $ 2,470 +

5. Papa Johns

Pope John

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The business that eventually became Pope John It started in a strange place. In 1984, John Schnatter opened the pizzeria in a cleaning cupboard in the back of his father’s tavern with used restaurant equipment valued at $ 1,600.

“Back, we sold dollars for $ 5 and before beer for 50 cents,” he said .

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

In order for Papa John to grow, Schnatter started franchising. It now has more than 5,000 locations in 45 countries and territories around the world. The publicly traded pizza chain has a market value of more than $ 2 billion.

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

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

6. Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut

Image: Pizza Hut

Dan and Frank Carney were unusual entrepreneurs. Nobody knew about the pizza business, but in 1958 they borrowed $ 600 from their mother to open a restaurant in Wichita, Kansas.

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

Despite his inexperience, the business was successful. Eventually the brothers started franchising. 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 number of restaurants.

In 1977 the brothers sold the company to PepsiCo for more than $ 300 million. Today Pizza Hut is a subsidiary of Yum Brands, which also includes 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


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Steve Jobs built a business that revolutionized the tech industry. It all started with an investment of $ 1,350. In 1975, Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak They threw Apple in Jobs ‘parents’ garage.

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

By 1985, Jobs’ relationship with Apple had deteriorated. Jobs resigned that same year. He returned in 1997 when Apple bought NeXT, a company that Jobs ran.

Before Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011, Jobs left an innovative legacy that included the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac, and iTunes. Apple is the world’s most valuable company, valued at more than a trillion dollars.

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

8. Dominos Pizza

Dominos pizza

Image: Domino

In 1960, Tom Monaghan and his brother James borrowed $ 900 to buy DomiNick’s, a Michigan pizza place that was no longer in operation. While Tom went into business, his brother got tired of it. A year later, James traded half of his business for Tom’s Beetle. In 1965, Tom became the sole owner of the company and renamed it Domino’s Pizza.

At the head of the pizzeria, Tom served the recipe that would become the chain’s success. It simplified the menu, set very strict standards for ingredients, limited sizes and toppings, and got delivery in under 30 minutes. Until 1985 domino It was the fastest growing chain of restaurants in the United States.

In 1998, Monahgan retired, leaving the company to Bain Capital Inc. for an estimated value of $ 1 billion. Today Domino has 16,500 stores, 10,000 of which are outside of the United States.

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

9. Johnson Publishing

Johnson Publishing

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John Johnson’s mission was to develop his own narrative. He founded Johnson Publishing in 1942 with a $ 500 loan borrowed from his mother.

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

A time long Johnson Publishing They have had great success, but have struggled for the past few years. In 2016, Ebony and Jet were sold to a private equity firm. Three years later, Johnson Publishing filed for bankruptcy. In 2019, a consortium of foundations bought the Ebony and Jet photo archives for $ 30 million. That year, Fashion Fair Cosmetics was sold for $ 1.85 million to its former managers and a founder of a hedge fund. “

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

10. Spanx


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

Sara Blakely tried on her pants in front of the mirror and she didn’t like the way she looked from behind. Blakely decided to wear her tummy control tights under her pants and cut off part of her feet. This is how the stockings were born Body sculpting from Spanx.

Blakely started Spanx in 1998 with $ 5,000 out of his own pocket. All factories and businesses turned her down, 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 too far ahead,” he told Stanford Business School students. “It can be a great success, but it can also cause a lot of problems. They get watered down and a lot of people end up having to answer them. “

From rejection to reward: Spanx is a household name today. In its first year, the company made $ 4 million in profits. Blakely is one of the youngest billionaires to have built their fortunes on their own.

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

11. Subway


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At 17, Franck DeLuca didn’t know anything about selling sandwiches, but he knew he wanted to open a shop to sell them.

“When I started my business, I wasn’t one of the poorest,” DeLuca wrote in his book Start Small Finish Big: Fifteen Essential Lessons to Starting and Running Your Own Successful Business. “But at that time I didn’t have any money, I didn’t have partners, and I didn’t know how to run a business. He was a 17 year old boy who needed to find a way to pay for college. He needed resources. When a family friend offered me a small loan to start a sandwich business, everything in my life changed. “

That family friend was Dr. Peter Buck. In 1965, Buck DeLuca loaned $ 1,000 to launch Pete’s super-submarine in Connecticut, which would eventually become the subway.

For many customers it was love at first sight. Subway generates annual sales of several million US dollars and has more than 40,000 US dollars in locations around the world.

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

12. Kroger


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It all started with $ 372 and a 5 square meter store.

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

Kroger wanted to revolutionize the store experience. His mantra was, “Never sell something that you don’t want to buy.” Kroger was the first to bring his own bakery into stores and the first to bring groceries and meat under one roof.

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

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

13. Hewlett-Packard

Hewlett Packard

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

The first revolutionary product from Hewlett Packard It was an audio oscillator. The device caught the attention of Walt Disney Studios, who used it to produce the film Fantasia.

“In late 1939, our first full year of business, our total sales were $ 5,369 and we had a profit of $ 1,563,” wrote David Packard in his book. The HP Way: How Bill Hewlett and I built our company. “After that we had a profit every year.”

Hewlett and Packard formalized their partnership in 1939 and decided on the company name by flipping a coin. The co-founders pooled their money and team and started the business with $ 538.

In 2015, Hewlett-Packard split into two companies and separated its business product and services company as Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Hewlett-Packard kept the PC and printer business and renamed it HP.

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

14. Nike


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Nike It started out as Blue Ribbon Sports in 1964. Bill Bowerman, a trainer at the University of Oregon, and Phil Knight, his former student, started the company with a $ 1,200 investment.

Knight tried to get his running shoe import business off the ground from Japan. At a business lunch, Knight showed his former trainer the Onitsuka Tiger shoes he had just received, and Bowerman liked them so much that he worked with him.

“I looked at it. You’re inside? It’s a deal? It took me a while to understand what he was saying,” Knight wrote in his memory Shoe Dog: A Memory from the Creator of Nike. “It wasn’t that he wanted to buy a dozen tigers for his team. I wanted to become a partner? If God had spoken through the wind and told me he wanted to be my partner, I wouldn’t have been so surprised. I stuttered and stuttered and said yes. “

The multinational company that started selling athletic shoes designs, manufactures and sells clothing, accessories and equipment. Nike has a market value of nearly $ 126 billion.

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

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