If you think it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital, a sizeable bank loan, and decades of experience to launch your own business, think again. In this month's cover story, we feature 50 businesses that require minimal start-up investment-in most cases, less than $12,000. There is a catch, however: As most of the entrepreneurs we've profiled can attest, starting a business takes a significant personal investment. That is, you need commitment, persistence, high quality standards and strong networking skills. With these skills under your belt, you stand a better chance of surviving those often formidable-and at times thrilling-first few months of start-up. And with further perseverance and careful investment in your growing venture, you stand a good chance of turning that little, low-investment enterprise into a booming, revenue-generating business. Good luck!