43 Profitable Business Ideas To Start In Developing Countries

Thanks to the Internet, innovation can be done from virtually anywhere in the world. Now, there's no need to be physically located in a business hub or a technological pole.

Anyone with a laptop and the necessary skills can start a business and disrupt an entire industry.

Most of the stories we publish are from entrepreneurs based in the United States, but today we'd like to highlight people from different places in the world that are not often associated with tech businesses.

Have you started a business from a developing country and want to get added to this list? Submit to share your story here.

Below we have listed the stories of some entrepreneurs whose successful businesses were started in developing countries and have been kind enough to share their stories so future entrepreneurs can learn from them. Check them out:

🇦🇷 Argentina

Baby products subscription box ($60K/mo)

Charles Carette started Bambox, a Baby Products Subscription Box business. They are now doing $60,000/month.

  • Location: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Started: about 3 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 7

In Bambox co-founding team, we are 3 french engineers, Timothée Jauffret (COO), Rémi Beaufils (CTO) and myself.

We all left our day jobs and we bootstrapped Bambox from our living room in our shared flat. Until today, we couldn't be more thankful to our roommates for letting us pile stacks of diapers in the house for at least a year!

We all came to Argentina for different reasons. One came to study and is getting married now, another settled down here after traveling around the world. For me, after graduating from an engineering Msc in Brazil I wanted to stay in LatAm to enjoy the lifestyle and I ended up working with Timothée at a third-party logistics provider.

how-we-grew-our-baby-subscription-box-to-60k-mrr

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Charles Carette, on starting Bambox ($60,000/month) full story ➜

Startup failure community & stories ($1K/mo)

Rich Clominson started Failory, a Startup Failure Community & Stories business. They are now doing $1,000/month.

  • Location: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Started: about 3 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0

I studied Marketing in Argentina and over the years I decided to focus on Digital Marketing. That’s exactly what I do on Failory. My two co-founders have different tasks: one is specialized in web development, and the other in design.

Apart from Failory, I work at a marketing agency. My co-founders also have full-time jobs, which is slowing us down a little bit.

The story behind the creation of Failory is completely ironic:

after-failing-at-a-few-startups-richard-started-a-website-for-entrepreneurs-to-talk-about-their-failed-startups

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Rich Clominson, on starting Failory ($1,000/month) full story ➜

🇧🇬 Bulgaria

Digital wallet & financial services ($1.5M/mo)

Yavor Petrov started iCard, a Digital Wallet & Financial Services business. They are now doing $1,500,000/month.

  • Location: Varna, Varna, Bulgaria
  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Started: over 12 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 200

My co-founding team and I had an idea, or a dream, to innovate and redefine card payments and make them more accessible and affordable. The idea for the so-called e-money solutions came to fruition way before the legislative body of the European Union defined guidelines, drafted laws and regulations for our industry.

Together we created the company from scratch and built a new real-time transaction processing system directly integrated with all major card schemes such as VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB, UNION PAY.

Being a pioneer means going places no one has visited before.

how-we-launched-a-1-5mm-month-digital-wallet-and-financial-services-company

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Yavor Petrov, on starting iCard ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

🇨🇿 Czech Republic

Interactive programming courses ($1.2K/mo)

Radoslaw Fabisiak started Duomly, a Interactive Programming Courses business. They are now doing $1,200/month.

  • Location: Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Revenue: $1,200/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Both of us have been full-stack programmers for years, and as we know, the IT industry changes a lot in a speedy time, so it's the reason we need to learn many new technologies, to keep the right level.

If you'd knew how to do it properly, you'd do it much faster, cheaper and better.

We already had various resources where we can learn from, in most cases, we felt it's a must, not big fun.

how-we-launched-a-1-2k-month-edtech-application-that-helps-beginners-in-the-it-industry

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Radoslaw Fabisiak, on starting Duomly ($1,200/month) full story ➜

🇬🇹 Guatemala

Facebook blueprint certification resources ($4K/mo)

Diego Rios started Markeko, a Facebook Blueprint Certification Resources business. They are now doing $4,000/month.

  • Location: Guatemala
  • Revenue: $4,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

“You’ve been kicked out of the group!”

I was surprised… but also it was the time I knew I had to do something about it!

Facebook announced that they were launching their Facebook Blueprint Certifications for the public back in 2017. I thought it was a good idea to get certified as I was working in the digital marketing space but couldn’t really find content or helpful guides.

how-i-started-a-4k-month-blog-that-helps-people-get-facebook-blueprint-certifications

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Diego Rios, on starting Markeko ($4,000/month) full story ➜

🇮🇳 India

B2b textiles marketplace ($80K/mo)

Apaar Gupta started The Design Cart, a B2B Textiles Marketplace business. They are now doing $80,000/month.

  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

Post my MBA, I worked at 2 large startups for 4 years in a mid-senior management role. During this period, I had built 2 business units from scratch - right from hiring & managing the team, to managing the tech side, managing the client, and eventually driving revenue. The initial 4 years gave me a great sense of what it will be like to run my own venture. I sensed that I loved solving problems, executing solutions, and the feeling of driving great results from them. I had been harboring an entrepreneurial bug for a long time, but, never in my adult life had taken any action on it.

Building a two-sided marketplace was always going to be a treacherous journey and a typical chicken and egg story. The supply won’t come unless you have enough demand and the demand won't look at your platform till you have enough supply.

My family business has been closely associated with the fashion industry for the past 30 years, and The Design Cart was started by me as a weekend gig just to help them get an online presence and have supplementary revenue.

how-i-started-a-80k-month-b2b-sourcing-portal-for-the-fashion-industry

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Apaar Gupta, on starting The Design Cart ($80,000/month) full story ➜

Sustainable fair-trade lifestyle products ($1K/mo)

Jhumkee Iyengar started Ohrna, a Sustainable Fair-Trade Lifestyle Products business. They are now doing $1,000/month.

  • Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Started: almost 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

I have built a career in human-centered product design over more than three decades, and run my own consulting practice helping companies and organizations incorporate design thinking, after several years in corporate America and India. I also teach human-centered design for the Pittsburgh based LUMA Institute at corporations worldwide, am an adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Technology where I teach postgraduate design students and MBA students, and run an online course for the Indian government’s National Program for Technology Enhanced Learning. I have presented at global conferences and have several publications and articles to my credit.

In my growing up years, we did not have a lot but we had enough and we always had enough to give others. This is what my parents — a scientist father and a professor mother — taught us.

I have always counted my blessings and felt a very strong urge to give back. Several defining moments came to me during my interactions with women who lack formal education but possess an indomitable spirit and deep wisdom. I realized how easily our respective destinies could have been reversed --- the only difference between us was the opportunities that I received.

on-starting-a-handmade-sustainable-fair-trade-lifestyle-products-brand

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Jhumkee Iyengar, on starting Ohrna ($1,000/month) full story ➜

Handcrafted jewelry ($40K/mo)

Pragya Batra started Quirksmith, a Handcrafted Jewelry business. They are now doing $39,956/month.

  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Revenue: $39,956/ month
  • Started: about 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5

Growing up, I was the nerdy one in my family. I loved my books (especially mathematics!). My parents saw all the signs of a budding “science” lover. And so, I was shown the path to Engineering! I studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi (IIT Delhi) and graduated in the year 2007 with a Btech and MTech in Biochemical engineering and Biotechnology. After that, I appeared for campus placements and landed myself a job at Bain & Company. I spent the next 8 years in strategy consulting, working with some of the smartest people across organizations in India. I also took a break from work to study at INSEAD (2011-12), before coming back to corporate life.

In the year 2015, for the first time in 15 years, I was living in the same city as my sister, Divya. She is a jewellery designer and she had moved to Bangalore in 2015 to head a design studio for her then-employer. It was at this time that Quirksmith sprouted as a passion project for the two of us. For almost a year we spent several weekends making appearances at pop up markets across Bangalore, showcasing our limited (and super quirky) range of silver jewellery. It was in these times that I saw the potential for Quirksmith to shape up as a brand that had something unique to offer. Our customers soon became our brand evangelists. Women would seek our pop up stores at these events. I was excited about the number of repeat customers we started to get on such a small base.

In 2016, I decided to quit my corporate career and focus on Quirksmith. And so I started to build a website on Shopify. We took help from our friends to shoot and model for the first version of the website. Thank God for talented friends! :). Within a few months, we launched our website quirksmith.com in November 2016.

how-we-launched-a-40k-month-handcrafted-jewelry-brand

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Pragya Batra, on starting Quirksmith ($39,956/month) full story ➜

Search-led conversions ($10K/mo)

Lakshdeep Rajput started SearchTap, a Search-Led Conversions business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: about 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 30

I ran an IT consulting company with my co-founder. The idea came to us after working for a client with whom we had done a complex search integration. When we couldn’t find a solution that would be a good fit for them in terms of features, functionality, and budget, we decided to build one ourselves.

During this time we also had the opportunity to connect with a few eCommerce store owners and some things stood out to me in these discussions. The first one is that many of these stores were not able to optimize their search due to a lack of expertise. Then the second one is that the few solutions present in the market are not financially viable.

We used these two learnings as the cornerstones of SearchTap. We realized that designing a search experience wasn’t enough and we had to reach out to people to show them how they can derive the maximum value from our product.

how-we-developed-a-100k-arr-saas-search-tool-for-ecommerce-stores

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Lakshdeep Rajput, on starting SearchTap ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Luxury shoes ($80K/mo)

Kartik Gurmule started KASA, a luxury shoes business. They are now doing $80,000/month.

  • Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Started: over 1 year ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

I started KASA as my first company as a 16 years teenager in the summer before high school, although it was not my first business. Since I was 12 years old, I did small projects like making websites and running marketing for clients.

When secondary school ended, I came to know about FlightClub, StockX, and Sneakerdon and got introduced to the sneaker culture around the world. With my connections made in the previous venture, I was able to get inside contacts in big sneaker brands who could supply me with the shoes skipping the waiting line.

But, due to strict Indian customs and taxations, this business failed in the first month itself. I was able to import the shoes at my home but was unable to sell for a good profit because it charged high custom fees and high international courier charges as potential customers were in the USA.

how-i-started-a-80k-month-luxury-shoes-and-accessories-brand

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Kartik Gurmule, on starting KASA ($80,000/month) full story ➜

Visitor management system ($2.5K/mo)

Gaurav Saini started Vizitor, a Visitor Management System business. They are now doing $2,500/month.

  • Location: Chandigarh, India
  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8

I visited Facebook's HQ way back in 2014 and the first time I saw how they were making the visitors’ check-in digitally and the process was really smooth and in the meanwhile, I completed filling my details, my friend Connie was there to receive me at the entrance. In 2017, I used to visit a company office for some project discussions regularly and that time I realized we really need some system in India to automate this lengthy time-consuming process. I then started researching a visitor management system similar to what I saw in Facebook's office and found that there is no such product that caters to India's market with a good price point and customer user experience.

I would encourage all entrepreneurs is to launch their MVP as soon as possible. Once you will give your product in hand of your customers, their feedback and reviews will be valuable to you and help understand the next steps in product development.

Secondly, at the same time, I got an inquiry from my friend's company regarding building a similar product for their new office. So, this came a perfect timing and intuition that I should continue building a product and make it big.

how-we-launched-a-2-500-month-visitor-management-system

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Gaurav Saini, on starting Vizitor ($2,500/month) full story ➜

Personal finance blog ($10K/mo)

Pardeep Goyal started Cash Overflow, a Personal finance blog business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Chandigarh, India
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: over 5 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7

I worked in an IT company from 2006 to 2013 and lived in the US for 2 years. I was getting paid well but unhappy with the work culture. I returned back to India, left my job and started a small software company by investing all my savings.

My startup failed with a loss of over $20,000 and I lost the motivation to join back the job. I started taking up freelance writing work to pay my monthly bills and started a blog to practice whatever I was learning about digital marketing in 2015.

I never thought that CashOverflow would ever make any money. I was just sharing my personal finance hacks on my blog, those worked for me to manage my finances in my bad time.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-blog-about-banking-investment-products

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Pardeep Goyal, on starting Cash Overflow ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Remote tech talent ($80K/mo)

Suvansh Bansal started Flexiple, a Remote Tech Talent business. They are now doing $80,000/month.

  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 9

Flexiple is my first foray into entrepreneurship. Though, being a third-generation entrepreneur, I reckon I always had the zeal to build something of own. However, at the beginning of my career, I took the traditional route and worked at 2 MNCs for ~3 years.

My zeal to learn faster, however, led me to join IIM Ahmedabad - India’s top-ranked B school in June’15 and that is where I met my partners and Flexiple’s co-founders - Karthik and Hrishikesh. During my time at IIM A too, surprisingly, I was dissatisfied with the learning opportunities available as textbooks and in-class discussions were the only media available.

Whereas what I wanted was to get my hands dirty and implement the theory we were learning in class. After a couple of false starts, I decided to join the two of them. They had already been working on defining Flexiple’s vision for almost a year by Aug’16 while juggling course-work during our first year of MBA.

how-i-started-a-80k-month-business-connecting-freelancers-with-companies

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Suvansh Bansal, on starting Flexiple ($80,000/month) full story ➜

Ebooks and courses ($17K/mo)

Praveen Malik started PM-by-PM, a Ebooks And Courses business. They are now doing $17,000/month.

  • Location: Delhi, Delhi, India
  • Revenue: $17,000/ month
  • Started: over 4 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

I had an entrepreneurial bug right from my college days. I dabbled into a few businesses while working as an employee but did not see much success.

Before venturing into my current business, I worked in diverse business environments viz. product development, services & support, product-oriented services, and software as a service. I traveled extensively and was exposed to many different cultures. I worked and interacted with clients from different geographies viz. USA, Europe, and India.

I gained expertise in project management through my work.

how-i-started-a-17k-month-business-selling-project-management-ebooks-and-courses

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Praveen Malik, on starting PM-by-PM ($17,000/month) full story ➜

Email marketing software ($23K/mo)

Varun Jain started SendX, a email marketing software business. They are now doing $23,000/month.

  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Revenue: $23,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 7

I am an engineer by profession but since the early years, I have dabbled with product, design, and business. After graduating from college I worked with a couple of tech startups as an early engineer. The first company where I worked got acquired for $25million in 12 months straight. That was my first brush with the entire cycle of building and selling startups.

During this entire time, I had been dabbling with some ideas once of which was ArtCurry - a creative marketplace for traditional artists and craftsmen. While working on it I got introduced to the entire world of email marketing and lead generation. I ended up using tools like MailChimp, SumoMe, LeadPages etc. Just the effort involved in stitching these products together, the complexity involved and the price was daunting for me.

So very naively I thought I could do a better job and that’s how SendX started in 2016 to essentially solve the problems which I faced myself. Once the first initial prototype was built I started talking to a few friends and colleagues and that’s how I roped in Mayank and Agni as my co-founders after a few months of starting the company.

how-we-bootstrapped-a-23k-month-email-marketing-platform-from-india

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Varun Jain, on starting SendX ($23,000/month) full story ➜

Online courses ($1K/mo)

Keyul started Coursesity, a online courses business. They are now doing $1,000/month.

  • Location: Remote
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Three years back, I was preparing for the software engineer interview. During that time, I was searching for online courses that could help me to revise the technical concepts and technologies. In this process, I realized that I spent more time in the searching and comparing courses on various eLearning platforms instead of spending more time on actual learning.

Don’t focus on so many things at once. This will take lots of time and effort. Set 1-2 goals and plan everything that helps you to achieve them. Once these goals have been achieved set the next goals.

After a few months, I was discussing interview preparation with a friend and he explained how frustrated to find a course on some specific subjects. He had a similar experience as me.

how-i-validated-and-built-a-1k-month-side-project

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Keyul, on starting Coursesity ($1,000/month) full story ➜

Internet privacy ($100/mo)

Rajat Vaghani started Snap Search, a internet privacy business. They are now doing $100/month.

  • Location: Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
  • Revenue: $100/ month
  • Started: about 1 year ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

So, I moved to Bangalore 5 years ago to pursue my Master's degree in Computers and what a decision it was! It changed my life. In these 5 years, I participated in, won and even conducted my own Hackathons, attended multiple developer fests and conferences, took part in workshops, got a great internship and a very well paid full-time role as well. I also sold 3 of my apps to a startup in the US for some good $$$. But none of that could kill or calm the entrepreneur in me.

I’ve been building, coding, designing, developing since the age of 13, and I’m 25 now, and that’s what I like to do best.

You cannot expect every individual to share the same love for your product as you have. Take the negative and positive feedback and convert it into bettering your product instead.

on-developing-and-launching-a-privacy-focused-app-as-a-solo-founder

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Rajat Vaghani, on starting Snap Search ($100/month) full story ➜

Social media scheduler ($20K/mo)

Dinesh Agrawal started RecurPost, a Social media scheduler business. They are now doing $20,000/month.

  • Location: Surat, Gujarat, India
  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Started: about 4 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

I was groomed to be a research scientist. I spent a few years doing that. However, I come from a business family and that had a strong influence on me. I loved the idea of creating products that benefit others. I loved the idea of creating jobs. I could do this only if I started something of my own.

My training as a research scientist, i.e. my Ph.D. in Computer Science, helped me get into software development. Atlanta was a big city and there were always events that exposed me to entrepreneurship. I knew it was for me and that is how I got into startups.

The day I walked the stage to my Ph.D. degree was the same day I moved to India. I started a company that helped people with great ideas to launch those ideas. Instead of becoming an offshore outsourcing company, we came in as technical partners who took equity in the final product. We built a number of products under this model.

creating-dozens-of-products-until-i-finally-got-traction-with-a-20k-month-app

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Dinesh Agrawal, on starting RecurPost ($20,000/month) full story ➜

Online excel training ($10K/mo)

Sumit Bansal started TrumpExcel.com, a Online Excel training business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: about 7 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I was working with a tech company in 2013 and my day-to-day work included crunching a lot of data in spreadsheets and creating reports and dashboards from it. I was learning a lot about spreadsheets through other Excel blogs and Youtube videos.

It was a huge learning curve for me and I made a lot of mistakes. I invested hours everyday learning. I didn’t make any money for 16 months, but I consistently pushed out content and videos. I was getting traffic and was also collecting email subscribers

One day, my co-worker mentioned a book called The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau, which is about the stories of people who were making money through their expertise. It also included two stories of people who were making money through their Excel blog and freelance practice. I immediately ordered the book and read it.

how-i-started-a-profitable-business-helping-millions-of-people-learn-excel

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Sumit Bansal, on starting TrumpExcel.com ($10,000/month) full story ➜

🇮🇩 Indonesia

Career transition coaching ($10K/mo)

Lydia Lee started Screw The Cubicle, a Career Transition Coaching business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: almost 6 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

My business originally started as a blog to document my ‘identity crisis’ going from employee to entrepreneur and grew into a full-time coaching and training business 6 years ago. To be honest, it was a place I could point friends and family towards when they asked me, “So, what are you doing with your life again?”

It wasn’t until a blog reader had sent me a message through my website to ask about coaching services that I had to google what a coach was. This was the moment that planted the seed that my work on the blog can expand to help in more helpful ways.

Since I was running a different business at the time, which was my transition business from corporate where I remained in the international education industry as an independent consultant, I wanted to explore whether coaching was something I would want to invest time and energy to do.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-career-transition-coaching-business

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Lydia Lee, on starting Screw The Cubicle ($10,000/month) full story ➜

🇰🇪 Kenya

Digital & software services ($4.5K/mo)

Brian Nyagol started Brainverse Technologies Ltd, a Digital & Software Services business. They are now doing $4,500/month.

  • Location: Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7

I started Brainverse when in my second year in college, driven by the necessity to finance myself at school. Like every other startup, I started solo. My first gigs were about designing blogs and simple websites for my friends and some businesses. I must admit that the starting point was lousy, fuzzy, and uncalculated. I had no clear vision of what I wanted the company to be, beyond adding more money in my pocket. I could afford to be off duty when I wanted, and hey, I was a student, living in his own terms.

Beginning of finding a purpose - Brainverse Recess

In early 2014, I started on a project that sprouted from my urge to develop a product for young people, especially those on campus. With 2 other friends, we started a social networking site - VibeCampo, our own version of Facebook that would address the needs of young people and help them nurture their talents. We delved into the depths of learning everything we needed to make this a success. I truly admit that running such a venture was not easy, without a constant stream of funding, since we had no idea how to implement a proper revenue model.

how-i-started-a-4-5k-month-digital-services-and-software-development-agency

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Brian Nyagol, on starting Brainverse Technologies Ltd ($4,500/month) full story ➜

Software development studio ($3.7K/mo)

Marvin Collins Hosea started Apps:Lab, a Software Development Studio business. They are now doing $3,700/month.

  • Location: Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya
  • Revenue: $3,700/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 9

Briefly, about how we started the company, I went to Moi University and studied computer science. During my time at university, I used to train other students on campus how to develop software, basic programming to be precise. We teamed up with some of the students who were good at software development and we wanted to share these skills with the world, a year later after graduating, we started Apps: Lab as a company and not a software training organization.

The best decision I have made since we started the company is being transparent and let everyone run the company.

We worked on Apps: Lab as a side project for about one year, with our team contributing to local meetups and tech community. 2018 July we got our first client from Uganda who paid us $4,500 to develop a high school multi-vendor software. And that’s how we started our company officially, though the company was incorporated in 2017 February.

how-i-started-a-3-7k-month-software-company-in-kenya

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Marvin Collins Hosea, on starting Apps:Lab ($3,700/month) full story ➜

🇱🇻 Latvia

Smart coffee cherry bar ($15K/mo)

Raivis started Coffee Pixels, a Smart Coffee Cherry Bar business. They are now doing $15,000/month.

  • Location: Vidzeme, Latvia
  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Started: over 10 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 5

My journey up to this point has been going through fields of hospitality, IT, corporate sales and back to hospitality, this time running a coffee shop - the place I really fell in love with coffee.

Make sure that someone isn't already solving the problem that you're about to tackle, or, more importantly, if there even is a problem at all.

Back in 2010, with the same team, we started coffee pixels, we launched a healthy lifestyle coffee shop in Riga, Latvia. We served vegetarian snacks, food & hi-quality coffee, known as specialty or 3rd wave coffee. There I found about the true story of coffee & how it can taste if done properly.

how-we-created-a-coffee-bar-brand

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Raivis, on starting Coffee Pixels ($15,000/month) full story ➜

🇲🇾 Malaysia

Vape juices online shop ($60K/mo)

Jeremy Ong started Vape Club, a Vape Juices Online Shop business. They are now doing $60,000/month.

  • Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Started: almost 5 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8

I grew up in a traditional-minded middle class Asian family in Malaysia. I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.

That’s what I did anyways, I graduated as an Economics graduate and found a job as a brand marketer in an FMCG environment. I was working 9am - 9pm for a 600USD salary in Malaysia.

I had tiger parents who always asked me to study hard, get good grades, get a good job and retire at 60. I’ve always been skeptical about this as my dad was not particularly happy and he was always worried about money.

I thought that there must be more to life than this. I started reading and taking inspiration from books like Rich Dad Poor Dad, Millionaire Mindset, Millionaire Fastlane etc. I don’t have a lot of capital to start with so I’ve always experimented with online businesses as a way to build wealth. During my spell when I was working a full-time job, I built eCommerce stores on my downtime and made some money out of it. However, none of these really took off as I had a lack of focus.

One day, I decided slaving away on the desk isn’t the kind of life I wanted to leave. And I’ve saved up a runway burn fund of about 5,000 USD (so that I can continue eating). I enrolled in a programming bootcamp right after I quit my job because I thought that some coding knowledge would help me build a better online business.

To be honest, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating from the bootcamp. I had been vaping for about 3 years (this was in 2015) and the vaping industry was just going through an explosive phase of growth. So I thought, why not?

I managed to validated the subscription box idea for about 50USD. All I did was build a two step landing page using a free tool like Unbounce that “sells” the subscription box product. When visitors click buy now, they get sent to an opt in page saying that we’ve “sold out” due to “overwhelming demand”. To get in front of the imaginary queue that I’ve created, they’d have to share the links with 5 friends. This campaign was a success as we’ve achieved more than 30% conversion rates. Here’s a screenshot of the 2-step landing page.

how-i-started-a-60k-month-online-business-from-malaysia

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Jeremy Ong, on starting Vape Club ($60,000/month) full story ➜

🇳🇬 Nigeria

Blogging & digital marketing agency ($3K/mo)

Emenike Emmanuel started Entrepreneur Business Blog, a Blogging & Digital Marketing Agency business. They are now doing $3,000/month.

  • Location: Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Started: almost 4 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

I live in a country with an unemployment rate of about 38%. When I was about graduating from the Polytechnic where I had gone to study Physics/Electronics for 5 years, I made up my mind that I was never going to be counted among the statistics of those who are either unemployed or underemployed.

I don’t have a wealthy family background, so my chances of having a mouthwatering job offer through recommendations were already dashed. It was either I figured my way out, or I head back to my village on graduation.

When your back is against the wall, you will do everything to survive. Personally, I chose to survive it and I did through the power of blogging.

how-a-young-entrepreneur-from-nigeria-started-a-profitable-blog

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Emenike Emmanuel, on starting Entrepreneur Business Blog ($3,000/month) full story ➜

🇵🇱 Poland

Artur Kurasiński started Astrography, a Space Related Fine Prints business. They are now doing $12,000/month.

  • Location: Warsaw, Masovian Voivodeship, Poland
  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Started: over 1 year ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 2

As I mentioned earlier: luck. Adam never assumed that he would have something to do with the print business. When there were a lot of positive comments and then the matter went to the media: information about Adam's hobby appeared in the national media.

We couldn't leave it at that and decided that we would risk creating MVP - in our case, it was a simple website based on WordPress and WooCommerce. We connected a payment operator and...on the first day we sold our first job. We set ourselves a milestone that "if we have 10 sales a month, we'll take this business seriously". And it happened very quickly to our surprise.

how-we-started-a-12k-month-business-selling-cosmos-inspired-fine-prints

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Artur Kurasiński, on starting Astrography ($12,000/month) full story ➜

Photo-sharing platform ($2K/mo)

Paweł Kadysz started Tookapic, a Photo-Sharing Platform business. They are now doing $2,000/month.

  • Location: Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland
  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Started: almost 7 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

Back in 2013, I moved to a new house with my girlfriend. Our own house. It was a completely new chapter for us and I thought it would be nice to document it somehow. Naturally, I thought about photos. But I had no idea about photography.

I did have an old DSLR though. I decided to start taking photos daily and publish one on a Tumblr blog every day for a year. That was August 13th, 2013 - the day the idea was born.

everything-i-learned-launching-a-2k-month-photojournal-project-website

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Paweł Kadysz, on starting Tookapic ($2,000/month) full story ➜

Sales leads and calls ($65K/mo)

Ross Knap started CallPage, a sales leads and calls business. They are now doing $65,000/month.

  • Location: Krakow, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland
  • Revenue: $65,000/ month
  • Started: almost 5 years ago
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 30

For two years, I was working as a consultant for a company that assisted other Eastern European countries in entering new markets, for example, from Russian to the Polish market. I managed more than 75 projects during my time there.

One of my responsibilities included optimizing the conversion of the websites to increase the number of leads and phone calls. While exploring various opportunities, we noticed with my partner - Sergey, that the faster we promised to contact users, the more likely they were to leave their contact details. We ran a test, where we promised to call back users within an hour, this resulted in a 30% increase in people leaving their contact details.

Within a short period, we observed a very high level of interest among businesses which reassured us with the belief that there is a specific demand in the market.

on-creating-a-65-000-month-software-that-helps-companies-get-more-leads

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Ross Knap, on starting CallPage ($65,000/month) full story ➜

🇷🇴 Romania

Online forms & surveys tool ($420K/mo)

Florin Cornianu started 123FormBuilder, a Online Forms & Surveys Tool business. They are now doing $420,000/month.

  • Location: Timișoara, Romania
  • Revenue: $420,000/ month
  • Started: over 12 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 90

As a boy, I used to sell bell peppers at the local market with my nana. I have so many beautiful memories from back then, and I suppose that’s where the original entrepreneurial seeds originated. During college, I used to work with Tudor (who eventually co-founded the company) on a myriad of web and software development projects that supplemented our survival-mode student budgets and kept us hopeful that one day we would be able to build a real internet company.

As soon as I graduated from college, I started working as a software developer for a multinational company, here in Timișoara. It was a truly great environment for that former pepper salesman and I learned and grew a lot, eventually earning a team leader position. However, it wasn’t long before I felt the urge to build something from the ground up.

I didn’t quit my job. Like most newbies, both I and Tudor became part-time entrepreneurs for a couple of years and experimented with a lot of ideas and projects that didn't quite hit the mark, at least not as well as we wished.

how-we-started-a-420k-month-online-forms-and-surveys-tool

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Florin Cornianu, on starting 123FormBuilder ($420,000/month) full story ➜

Marketing services for e-commerce ($15K/mo)

Tudor Cioltea started Black Goat Media, a Marketing Services For E-commerce business. They are now doing $15,000/month.

  • Location: Baia Mare, Romania
  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Started: over 7 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8

Black Goat Media started as a side project that was meant to support a start-up idea we had. I was in my final year of study in Denmark when together with 3 close friends we decided to build a marketplace that connects car owners with auto repair shops in Romania. The whole idea was our return home project.

Most initial ideas are destined to fail. Small wins can move you forward to actually getting where you want.

The start-up was sucking a lot of resources so we decided to offer web development and marketing services for other businesses to support the growth.

how-we-started-a-15k-month-paid-marketing-agency-to-help-e-commerce-brands

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Tudor Cioltea, on starting Black Goat Media ($15,000/month) full story ➜

🇸🇬 Singapore

Uber for graphic design ($7.32K/mo)

Marilyn Wo started MeetAnders, a Uber For Graphic Design business. They are now doing $7,321/month.

  • Location: Singapore, Singapore
  • Revenue: $7,321/ month
  • Started: over 5 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

When my kid was born in 2013, there was no way for me to be serving my clients while babysitting. That’s when I realized my business couldn’t run without me.

Our customer acquisition relied solely on referrals. We had enough referrals coming to keep us busy. But because I was drowning in a sea of day-to-day tasks, that didn’t leave me time to set up a proper lead generation system.

I was the bottleneck in all areas of it.

how-i-started-a-7k-month-uber-for-graphic-designs

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Marilyn Wo, on starting MeetAnders ($7,321/month) full story ➜

Online language tutoring ($60K/mo)

Alex Redfern started Lingoci, a Online Language Tutoring business. They are now doing $60,000/month.

  • Location: Singapore, Singapore
  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Back in 2016, I was working in a digital marketing agency in London. It was a nice place to work, but I wasn’t feeling challenged enough and I’d always been attracted to entrepreneurship. Not because I dreamt of making millions, but I felt that being an entrepreneur would allow me to test myself in multiple ways and have a bigger impact.

At the same time, I was taking Swedish lessons with a superb tutor called Isabella. I was learning online and loved the convenience of being able to book lessons at times that suited me, as well as being able to learn from home. The main downside of the site I was using was that the quality of tutors was highly variable. I didn’t find Isabella immediately.

After a couple of months of lessons, the idea hit me: could I create a similar site to the one I was using, but recruit the tutors carefully so that the student experience would be better?

how-i-built-a-60k-month-language-tutoring-platform-with-no-coding-skills

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Alex Redfern, on starting Lingoci ($60,000/month) full story ➜

Ecommerce personalization platform ($3K/mo)

Shahram Anver started DataCue, a ecommerce personalization platform business. They are now doing $3,000/month.

  • Location: Singapore, Singapore
  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5

Ann and I started DataCue while on our honeymoon in Central America. In Cuba, we met a stranger who told us about a government-funded initiative for foreign entrepreneurs to start a business in Chile. I had previously founded a startup called Travel Iago in Singapore while working full-time as a data scientist at TripAdvisor. Ann was a management consultant at BCG in Singapore.

While working at TripAdvisor, I realized that only big companies have enough resources to access data to make the right business decisions. Small and medium businesses, on the other hand, lack resources and rely on their guts to make the next move. I've always felt that data should be democratized and accessible to all types of businesses. One of our missions at DataCue is to help small and medium businesses become better at using and understanding their data. While at TripAdvisor, I also noticed that most marketers spend time and effort focusing on paid channels like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads to bring traffic. However once their visitors land on the website, little is done to ensure that they end up with a purchase.

Ann shares my interest in online retail. She loves shopping online. Our daughter was recently born and while shopping for baby products, she noticed that her experience was far from desirable. Many websites, despite multiple visits at the same baby products, kept showing her the most irrelevant items like mobile and electronics. This infuriated her and she had to start her search from scratch.

how-we-developed-a-3k-month-ecommerce-personalization-platform

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Shahram Anver, on starting DataCue ($3,000/month) full story ➜

Clothing manufacturing agency ($74K/mo)

Donovan Mathews started Bryden Apparel, a Clothing Manufacturing Agency business. They are now doing $74,000/month.

  • Location: Singapore, Singapore
  • Revenue: $74,000/ month
  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

I started my own t-shirt brand called Ardentees back in 2009 when I was still in school as e-commerce was starting to get popular. I was intrigued by the whole idea of e-commerce as you could reach a worldwide audience easily. I especially loved the idea of waking up to see emails of orders from customers around the world.

I always had that inner voice urging me to start something on my own related to sourcing & manufacturing and I decided to register a business to reserve the name.

After getting 2 friends on board, we spent a year sourcing & testing different manufacturers with major hiccups along the way before finally able to settle for one and start selling.

how-we-started-a-clothing-manufacturing-business

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Donovan Mathews, on starting Bryden Apparel ($74,000/month) full story ➜

Time tracking gadget ($24K/mo)

Pavel Cheshev started Time Flip, a Time Tracking Gadget business. They are now doing $24,000/month.

  • Location: Singapore, Singapore
  • Revenue: $24,000/ month
  • Started: about 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5

As entrepreneurs, we had a long experience in contracting and outsourcing all kinds of work: from software development to industrial design, video production, web design, content marketing, bookkeeping, etc. We worked with a good number of individual freelancers and teams.

Focusing on too many things is the road to nowhere. Take one most important target (growing number of users, profitability, decreasing production costs, subscriptions, time to market, etc) and metrics for it and run tests to optimize it.

That means we have also witnessed the use of various time tracking software by our contractors and collaborators and tried it ourselves. There were over 100 software time tracking apps on this, rather fragmented, market. That only supported our idea that there is no universal, popular solution and the market is still in expectations of something that would be easy to use and adapt to.

inventing-a-gadget-to-help-you-track-your-time

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Pavel Cheshev, on starting Time Flip ($24,000/month) full story ➜

🇹🇼 Taiwan

Teaching mandarin chinese online ($1K/mo)

Tom started Mandarin Monkey, a Teaching Mandarin Chinese Online business. They are now doing $1,000/month.

  • Location: Taichung, Taichung, Taiwan
  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Started: almost 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

It was 2016, Ula was 6 months pregnant with our daughter Kairi and we were living in the UK. We had savings enough for us to see us through until the baby was born and wanted to keep busy during that time. Ula’s passion has always been teaching, both English and Chinese and mine (Tom) had been in the creative side of things, particularly video production. We thought, why not put those two passions together and start a YouTube channel, and see if we could help some people before returning to ‘normal’ work.

Mandarin Monkey was born. When we started we actually wanted to create a live teaching platform for English speakers studying Chinese but after some bad web design company choices, we decided to drop the idea.

For any who wish to have some more details on what we used to create, we found a cheap (under $250 USD) camera from an electronics store and used Premiere Pro / After Effects to edit. We also used two cheap photographer lights with softboxes and a green screen.

on-starting-a-business-teaching-mandarin-chinese-online

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Tom, on starting Mandarin Monkey ($1,000/month) full story ➜

Adventurous educational packages ($10K/mo)

Andrew Bliss started The Adventurous Mailbox, a Adventurous Educational Packages business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Taiwan
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: over 4 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

The inspiration for the company came eight years ago after a trip I took to Thailand. My niece and nephew back in the USA were growing so quickly, and I wanted to be part of their growing up experience. Then aged 5 and 4 respectively, I wrote them a letter about my trip to Thailand, turning it into an adventure book with photos from my trip, including temples, jungles, monks, tigers and tiger poop. The kids loved it, and I think it was my brother who said something like, “You should make this into a real book or something…”

No one is an expert in every aspect of running a business, and you are losing an opportunity by not bringing in others. Once more people became part of my operation, a lot more great ideas came about and the business benefited greatly.

The idea for the book germinated for a while, and when I got around to writing it, I realized I wasn’t really good at writing books for very young children. After showing a version to a friend with kids back home, she pointed out that 6-year-olds wouldn’t understand about 80% of what I was trying to say. So, I could either learn how to write to them, or change my focus to older kids who have a few more connections zipping around their brains and aren’t just sticking things up their noses for kicks.

lessons-learned-from-launching-an-education-media-startup

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Andrew Bliss, on starting The Adventurous Mailbox ($10,000/month) full story ➜

🇹🇭 Thailand

Private snorkel tours ($60K/mo)

Nok started Five Star Thailand Tours, a Private Snorkel Tours business. They are now doing $60,000/month.

  • Location: Krabi Province, Thailand
  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Started: over 4 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9

Travel had always been a passion of mine. Growing up in a popular tourist destination in the United Kingdom - I was immersed in the travel culture. Granted, Blackpool Beach can’t be compared to the beaches found in the south of Thailand. However, one thing remains the same- beach destinations attract tourism. So with a flow of adventure-seeking travelers passing through, paired with awesome and high-quality service to offer. A winning recipe is brought to life.

I’d spend every summer of my early twenties, grafting my way through countless European cities. A new tourist destination every few months. Picking up low-paid promotional work for events, clubs, and bars across the continent. In return for a bed, a meal and a beer or two. Barely scraping by, earning just enough to fund my travel habit. But I loved it, every moment of it. I loved helping other travelers find what they needed in a new location.

My passion for travel, saw me relocate, moving in with extended family in Thailand, at a young age of just twenty-something. I didn’t know what the plan was. And I certainly didn't plan on founding a boat tour business. I knew that my love for helping travelers, staying open-minded, and being in the right place at the right time had, (usually), worked out in the past.

how-we-started-a-60k-month-private-snorkel-tours-business-in-thailand

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Nok, on starting Five Star Thailand Tours ($60,000/month) full story ➜

🇹🇷 Turkey

User onboarding tool ($9.4K/mo)

Osman Koc started Userguiding, a user onboarding tool business. They are now doing $9,400/month.

  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Revenue: $9,400/ month
  • Started: over 3 years ago
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 3

Muhammet and I are close friends who studied in the same class at both high school and university. UserGuiding is the second company we founded together. We had a startup studio named "YNOT Partners" derived from "Why Not?". We helped entrepreneurs to build their business from ideation to investment. We made a good amount of money by working hard and smart for a year. And then we went to San Francisco with our savings to build our product without any idea!

Why do you work on your own when you get the solution right away?

In the early weeks of San Francisco, we were stressed out. We were staying at a friend’s house, Deniz, founder of Voscreen. We were in Silicon Valley, we had everything such as time, money and skill set, except an idea to start a one-billion-dollar company :) And, we’re sure we would find a great idea soon; because ideas are free, the significant part of doing business is execution. We’ve heard that a thousand times at least.

on-launching-a-9-4k-month-saas-that-helps-with-user-onboarding

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Osman Koc, on starting Userguiding ($9,400/month) full story ➜

Handmade leather accessories ($40K/mo)

Zeynep Prens started Galen Leather, a Handmade Leather Accessories business. They are now doing $40,000/month.

  • Location: Istanbul, Turkey
  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Started: over 8 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4

The idea for our business came out of a serious personal setback. It wasn’t a, ‘let’s sit down and brainstorm new ideas because I hate my job’ scenario. I loved my job at the time. I didn’t want to pursue anything else. But when life deals you an unfavorable set of cards, you just have to find a way to work with them.

I was diagnosed with a rare type of head and neck cancer. Doctors warned the cancer treatment might leave me incapable of speech. This forced me to consider alternatives to my burgeoning career in sales.

In 2012, I was diagnosed with a rare type of head and neck cancer (Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma). Doctors warned the cancer treatment might leave me incapable of speech. This forced me to consider alternatives to my burgeoning career in sales. I had to undergo a painful four months of treatment and was heartbroken when their prognosis became reality. That’s right, I lost my ability to speak. It completely turned my family's life upside down.

how-i-overcame-life-s-roadblocks-and-started-a-500k-business

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Zeynep Prens, on starting Galen Leather ($40,000/month) full story ➜

🇦🇪 United Arab Emirates

Arabic clothing platform ($10K/mo)

Shaden Abushaera started HeraCloset Online , a Arabic Clothing Platform business. They are now doing $10,000/month.

  • Location: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Started: over 2 years ago
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15

The idea I had in mind when starting HeraCloset

People have become impatient and want quick results from everything in their lives. This is because of all the gadgets and rapidly advancing technology that have engulfed our lives. Customers want high-quality service that is efficient and does not waste their precious time. It is this thinking that gave birth to the concept of HeraCloset in my mind.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-arabic-clothing-platform

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Shaden Abushaera , on starting HeraCloset Online ($10,000/month) full story ➜

Dubai's leading tour operator ($35M/mo)

Manoj Tulsani started Rayna Tours, a Dubai's Leading Tour Operator business. They are now doing $35,000,000/month.

  • Location: Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • Revenue: $35,000,000/ month
  • Started: over 14 years ago
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 670

Manoj: It’s surprising to note that both Kamlesh and I ventured into the business with substantial experience however in totally different areas. My first job with Safeer Group of Companies (as a marketing executive) landed me in Dubai from Ajmer, Rajasthan. This was soon after my completion of graduation in commerce stream from Bombay University in 1999. Later, I worked with the Time Machine Group of Companies. I truly enjoyed my job and each day of a little less than a decade of my career with both these companies was exceptionally rewarding, so it was somewhat a gut feeling to call my successful job quits and start Rayna Tours with Kamlesh in 2006. I began the new innings in my professional life with nothing but just driven by my love for travel and passion to meet new people.

Don’t let people discourage or doubt your capabilities. Believe in yourself and always be willing to listen to the unique demands of your customers.

Kamlesh: Manoj and I worked together in the Safeer Group of Companies where we discovered our significant passion for travel and entrepreneurship. We always knew that we’ll start our own business someday but just didn’t know what this would be. Speaking of my work experiences, before moving to Dubai in 1998, I had worked in different roles in my hometown (Rajasthan), including employment in an ISD (International Subscriber Dialing) / STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) PCO and a brief experience as a tour organizer. Later, I found myself drawn to the idea of training people. I think being exposed to diverse jobs and interests actually gave me the confidence to think bigger and re-invent the travel industry by launching Rayna Tours.

how-we-started-the-35m-year-dubai-s-leading-tour-operator

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Manoj Tulsani, on starting Rayna Tours ($35,000,000/month) full story ➜

🇻🇺 Vanuatu

Clean skin care cosmetics ($42K/mo)

Linda Trenkner started Volcanic Earth, a Clean Skin Care Cosmetics business. They are now doing $42,000/month.

  • Location: Port Vila, Shefa Province, Vanuatu
  • Revenue: $42,000/ month
  • Started: about 17 years ago
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 11

I am an ex-pat Australian fashion designer and former nurse who came over to live in Vanuatu with my husband in January 2003 following his retirement as a lawyer. My cousin Pam Ryan and her husband, also ex-pat Aussies, were already living in Vanuatu and had been for about 12 years.

My husband and I soon discovered that Vanuatu sat on what is known as the “Pacific Ring Of Fire” because of the nine active volcanoes in Vanuatu including Mount Yasur, the most accessible, active volcano in the world. It also became obvious to us just how destructive Volcanic Ash can be on nearby villages and their gardens on which they rely heavily on food. This got us all thinking about ways we could turn this destructive force into a positive one.

how-we-started-a-successful-clean-skin-care-cosmetics-brand

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Linda Trenkner, on starting Volcanic Earth ($42,000/month) full story ➜

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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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