You do not always have to come from a privileged background to make it big. That is the beauty of capitalism. Some of the greatest men and women in the history of business started with so very little. These captains of industry had vision, passion and a determination to be successful.
Henry Ford did not let his lack of financial resources stand in the way of his lifelong dream. He was a man with great ideas, but had very little financial backing of his own. So, he started Ford Motor Company with just $28,000 – and that was not even Ford’s savings. It was money that he had borrowed. Today, Ford Motor Company is a $56 billion dollar company with over $128 billion dollars in annual revenue.
The inventor of the iPhone, iPod and iPad started the largest technology company in the world in his parents’ garage. He started Apple Computers in 1976 with his partner, Steve Wolzniak. The two men did not have a lot of money, but Jobs did have a vision and innovative ideas that helped to thrust Apple into the forefront of the computer industry. Today the company has a market cap of $320 billion dollars.
Walmart may be a household name today, but it was not when Sam Walton opened his first store back in 1962. Walton got his first start in retail opening up his first general variety store in 1945, which he opened with just $25,000. His knack for sales and low cost strategy made his stores a hit with consumers everywhere. Walmart developed into one of the most popular retailers in the United States under Walton’s helm, and he even held the title of the richest man in the United States at one point in time.
The CEO of Under Armour was flat broke when the orders started rolling in for his moisture-holding athletic shirts. Plank started his entrepreneurial endeavor with just $20,000 in cash and another $40,000 in credit card debt. With hard work and determination, he managed to carve out a niche of the athletic apparel market for Under Armour, and now has a net worth just shy of $500 million dollars.
Bill Hewlett & Dave Packard
Hewlett-Packard was the startup of all startups. The two cofounders, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started the industrial giant with a total of $538 in assets. The $538 total investment included cash and a used drill press. Hewlett Packard has a market cap of $88 billion dollars and generated $126 billion dollars in sales last year alone.