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Sizable Returns

It doesn't matter how much money you have to begin with. These entrepreneurs prove even the smallest start-up can grow up to be big and strong.

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

It's happened to all of us. Sitting, standing or sleeping, we've all had that epiphanic moment when a bright idea for a great business becomes clear. But if you think it takes millions to start a successful business, you're wrong. Each of the following entrepreneurs started with relatively little money and parlayed it into lucrative ventures, cutting corners whenever they could along the way. Although times may have been tough working with little capital, these entrepreneurs prove that although money makes the world go round, you can't judge a business by the size of its start-up.

MooRoo Handbags: Less Than $40K

Talk about taking a dream and making it come true. After stay-at-home mom Mary Norton dreamt about three handbags one night during the summer of 1998, she recreated them the next day, spending about $50 in materials. Norton then let her baby-sitter, who happened to be a manager of a store in Charleston, South Carolina, take the bags to see how they'd sell. At $40 each, they were gone in 45 minutes. When people asked for the brand name, the baby-sitter merged the nicknames of Norton's two children and came up with MooRoo Handbags.

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