These People Got Rich Despite Starting With $1

by Lee Wang

Four people who got rich with a successful business after starting with almost no money

It is likely you have spent a considerable amount of time in thoughts about improving your financial situation. One way to do this is to start a business. However, the business world can be a bit congested and you will face a lot of competition. A handful of entrepreneurs with innovative ideas have used minimal investments to make a lot of money from things other people discard or throw away.

Andrew Mupuya

Andrew Mupuya is a Ugandan native who saw an opportunity caused by his government’s ban on plastic bags when he was only 16 years of age. Andrew felt further motivation by the fact both his parents were unemployed at the time and he found it difficult financially to maintain his existence while attending secondary school.

Andrew obtained the $14 he needed to launch his business idea by collecting more than 150 pounds of plastic water bottles which he sold for $11. He borrowed the other $3. Next, he went online and leaned to make paper bags by hand. Andrew’s company now employs 20 people and has landed a number of large business contracts.

Rea Ngwane and Thato Kgatlhanye

These two young women came to the aid of school children in their native South Africa by starting a business that repurposes school bags. The company started by the young women produces school bags for disadvantaged children using plastic waste the company collects. The bags come complete with a solar panel that charges in the daytime while the children are at school. The bag is also equipped with a light the children can use to do their homework and study at night.

Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu

This entrepreneur from Ethiopia is the owner of Sole Rebels, a company that produces some of the most sought after footwear from Africa in the world. Recycled materials like old tire rubber and recycled clothing are used for the shoes that are made completely by hand. Footwear from Sole Rebels is now available in more than 50 countries in the world including the United States, Japan, Switzerland, and Canada. Sole Rebels was started with less than $10,000 that was borrowed by Bethlehem from family members. The company now employs more than 100 workers.

Lorna Rutto

Kenyan businesswoman Lorna Rutto left her job as a banker to found what is now one of the biggest recycling businesses in Kenya. Rutto’s company, Ecopost, takes recycled plastic and produces fence posts for forest reserves and residential homes. The plastic recycling idea of Rutto is estimated to have already saved 250 acres of forest. Rutto’s company has produced more than 10,000 fence posts and is making $150,000 a year. 500 people are presently employed by Ecopost.

Bottom Line

Many people dream of that one great business idea that will change their lives forever. However, many of them are discouraged by the thought that if they discover a great idea they will still need an exorbitant amount of money to bring it to fruition. The four entrepreneurs above have all experienced great success with minimal financial investment and are great examples of what can happen when you pair a great idea with a little determination.

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