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Starting Small

With discipline and determination, these four entrepreneurs launched businesses with less than $1,000 each. See how they've grown from those budget beginnings to today's successful companies.

This story appears in the February 2005 issue of Start Up.

You may think it's nearly impossible to start a business without a lot of money, but think again--some of the biggest success stories have had extremely humble beginnings. Don't believe us? You will after you read the startup stories of the following four businesses. These entrepreneurs built successful ventures with less than $1,000 and are now calling the shots instead of working for someone else. So don't be afraid to cash in all your loose change--it's time to realize that money concerns don't have to hold you back and, yes, you can live your dream!


Startup costs: $970
Amanda Horan Kennedy, 45, was frustrated with the way her bra's back strap looked beneath a tight-fitting cashmere sweater. Even after scouring the finer department stores, she was unable to find a bra that did not accentuate the unsightly appearance of "back fat." On Valentine's Day in 2003, while her husband waited patiently for her to get dressed, inspiration suddenly struck Horan Kennedy: She cut the legs and crotch off of a pair of control-top pantyhose, slipped it over her head and onto her torso, and put on her cashmere sweater. "Hallelujah!" said Horan Kennedy, and the Sassybax prototype was born.

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