57 Small Businesses To Start In St. Louis

Itching to start a business or work for yourself?

St. Louis is already great place to start a business, but you might be wondering what you can start today.

Here are the best business ideas to start in St. Louis.

1. Start a business communications software ($120M/year)

Yaniv Masjedi from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA started Nextiva over 12 years ago, a business communications software.

  • Revenue: $10,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1000
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

The idea for Nextiva came from Tomas. He is an amazing entrepreneur, and after founding several phenomenal companies over the years, in 2008, he decided to take a crack at reforming the inefficient and antiquated business communications industry. He and I had worked together previously; I actually started in sales roles at another one of his companies. When he told me of his idea for Nextiva, I jumped at the opportunity to join him and the team.

The team was so small at the time -just a few of us- and there was a need for marketing right away. Even though I’d never worked in the business communication industry, I dove right in. Now, more than a decade later, I’ve loved what I do every day. Marketing is such a dynamic field; it’s been fun to come up with ideas to help Nextiva grow and work with some of the brightest minds in the business.

Nextiva itself launched as basically the tiniest player in the VoIP industry. We were surrounded by giants, and those giants were highly skeptical of our ability to stand on our own and compete with them. We welcomed this challenge and decided to do things differently. We never accepted outside funding; Nextiva is entirely self-funded. We focused on listening to our customers, developing solutions customized to their needs and moving forward. We developed authentic relationships with customers and designed a customer experience model we were so excited about that we even trademarked the term Amazing Service.


Yaniv Masjedi, on starting Nextiva ($10,000,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a marketing agency ($102M/year)

JB Kellogg from Fort Collins, Colorado, USA started Madwire® over 11 years ago, a marketing agency.

  • Revenue: $8,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 520
  • Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

I played college football at the University of Western New Mexico. It was like a full-time job, so after my senior season when football was over and I still had one semester left, I had a lot of time on my hands, which I was not accustomed to. I didn’t like it - I prefer to be busy. So, I decided to walk down to a local travel magazine company a few blocks off campus called Zia Publishing.

I knew I had a talent for design and marketing (I self-taught myself digital design and went to school for marketing), so I walked in and asked if I could intern there in my final semester. They said they didn’t require any design or marketing but they did need a new website. They asked me if I knew how to design and build a website. This was early 2005 and website design and development were still pretty new. I told them, no, but if they gave me a desk, computer, and a couple of months, I’d figure it out. So they did.

Over the next eight weeks, I learned everything I could about website design and development. I designed and built the website two or three times over before I felt confident enough to show the owner, Terry. When I showed her the website, she paused and said, “This is the best website I’ve ever seen. Not only is it beautiful, but it achieves all our needs and goals.” I knew at that moment I had a talent not many people had at the time. I told my Dad I thought there was a business opportunity. He agreed, but the industry was mostly freelance at the time and he was running a successful brokerage company called Traders Network and wanted me to come work with him and test some of the digital marketing and design strategies there first.


JB Kellogg, on starting Madwire® ($8,500,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a supplements company ($24M/year)

Nick Bare from Austin, Texas, USA started Bare Performance Nutrition almost 9 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 16
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

In 2012 I was a junior in college studying Nutrition at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I was also in the ROTC program there so I knew that upon graduating college I would be commissioning into the US Army as an officer.

My friends and I were your typical broke college students and we loved weight training. Because we couldn’t continue to buy our own pre-workout supplements due to personal funds, or lack thereof, we decided to all go in together and purchase bulk ingredients to make our own pre-workout supplements.

Many of these college students, and friends of mine, took out this $25K loan to buy new cars, take vacations, get engaged and married, but I decided that this would be my funding to launch my company.


Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start an idea management software ($9M/year)

Rob Hoehn from San Francisco, California, USA started IdeaScale over 11 years ago, a idea management software.

  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 53
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

I started the company ten years ago with my friends Vivek Bhaskaran, Jessica Day, and Josh Folk, because we kept hearing this question from our business contacts: “how are we supposed to get answers to the questions that we don’t know to ask?”

I was working at a bank as a programmer and moonlighting on some start-up projects with Vivek. Josh was a White House intern who had started his own sports and technology company and Jessica was a freelance marketer. So we really were just piecing IdeaScale together in the time that we had between our other projects.

This question of shining a light on our blind spots has always fascinated me. It’s something that we stumble on as individuals constantly, so of course it’s something we stumble on as a business or government agency. What we realized is that if we could help organizations gather ideas… they would start finding answers not just to the questions that they knew to ask - but to questions they’d never even thought of before. But it couldn’t just be a suggestion box - it needed features that would allow anyone to help select the best idea, improve it, and move it forward.


Rob Hoehn, on starting IdeaScale ($750,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a solar energy business ($7.2M/year)

David Gomez from California, USA started Clean Energy Solutions almost 7 years ago, a solar energy business.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: California, USA

As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I didn’t go to college (besides a few junior college classes). Instead, I started working in sales, first selling car insurance for a few years, and then making the jump into mortgage loans. After a few years of gaining experience, I opened up my own mortgage company and rode the wave of the mid-2000’s real estate boom. It was an incredibly lucrative time and it seemed like it would go on forever. However, by the end of the decade, the good times were over and the recession hit. Although I hung in there and we did extremely well for several years in a down economy, I still ended up having to shut down my company. During this time I experienced some of the most challenging times of my life and career.

After rolling with the punches, I started looking for the next business opportunity to get involved with. A friend of mine had been telling me for several years about solar power and how renewable energy was the future. After doing some research, I realized what a great opportunity it was.

  • There’s an unlimited amount of solar energy.
  • Solar is clean energy compared to fossil fuels that damage the environment.
  • Solar energy is a cheaper source of energy than fossil fuels, in the majority of markets.
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA) allows a homeowner to get a solar system without having to actually purchase the system. There is not a purchase loan or lien required on a client’s home.


David Gomez, on starting Clean Energy Solutions ($600,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a motorcycle parts business ($7.2M/year)

Justin Pflanz from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA started TAB Performance almost 17 years ago, a motorcycle parts business.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

My Brother and I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. Our parents had started, grown and sold several companies growing up and it’s something we both had a passion for.

We’ve also always felt that our personalities and experiences complimented each other well. Generally speaking, I tend to be more detail oriented and risk averse whereas my brother is better at looking at the big picture and is more comfortable taking risks. I went to college and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in business and he got his degrees in both Business Administration and Marketing.


Justin Pflanz, on starting TAB Performance ($600,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a liquor company ($6M/year)

Justin Fenchel from Austin, Texas, USA started BeatBox Beverages almost 3 years ago, a liquor company.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 18
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I had the idea with a lifelong friend of mine (co-founder Brad Schultz) to make a party version of boxed wine.

We saw how popular boxed wine, typically Franzia was in college, at tailgates, kickball games, beach trips, etc. But no one was buying it because they loved the taste of the wine. They loved the affordability, convenience and taking the bag out of the box to slap the bag! We also saw the explosion of flavored malt beverages like Four Loko, Lime-a-Rita and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. So we asked ourselves why had no one made a fun flavored version of boxed wine for the millennial consumer?

Don’t just assume your idea is great. Even if your family and friends say so. Get a prototype out into the market. Get people outside of your network to tell you it’s a good idea.


Justin Fenchel, on starting BeatBox Beverages ($500,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start an online wine business ($4.8M/year)

Agent Red from Santa Rosa, Guatemala started The Wine Spies almost 14 years ago, a online wine business.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Santa Rosa, Guatemala

I had spent most of my professional career in high-tech and with the advent of the Internet, I dove headlong into eCommerce. I had worked on successful projects with the likes of Philips, Sony, KMPG, Urban Decay, and others, helping them early on to define and launch their Internet presence and eCommerce strategy.

On one thrilling project for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, the company that I was running hired a skilled developer. At the conclusion of that project, I became friends with their lead on the project. We stayed friends and had many discussions about one day starting a business together. I made a life change and moved up to Sonoma County where I started a joint venture company with a Swiss toy manufacturer. They had a great guy named Alex join our California team, helping to liaise between California and Switzerland. Alex loved wine and he felt like a kid in a candy store in Sonoma Wine Country. He would take us along on outings to wineries and I work up to just how big the industry was - and how badly it needed a trusted online source for fine wines. We wrapped up our joint venture a year later, and I set about to figure out what my next startup would be.

I literally went door to door, visiting with hundreds of wineries and trying to describe to them this new-fangled ‘flash sale’ business model.


Agent Red, on starting The Wine Spies ($400,000/month) full story ➜

9. Become a real estate agent ($4.2M/year)

Grigory Pekarsky from Chicago, Illinois, USA started Vesta Preferred Realty about 11 years ago, a real estate agent.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

I stumbled into real estate. There is no personal history with real estate in my family or in anything I got into as a young kid trying to find my way.

I realized my real competitive edge was that I always picked up the phone, showed up every day and just did the work. Everyone always thinks there is some secret the most successful real estate agents keep to themselves.

My studies were actually centered in Veterinary Medicine at Michigan State University (Go Green!). By Junior year it became apparent to me that I love animals but not so much the idea of being a Vet. So I did a 180 degree turn and finished with a Finance Major.


Grigory Pekarsky, on starting Vesta Preferred Realty ($350,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a party supply store ($3.6M/year)

Dean Salakas from Sydney, Australia started The Party People almost 21 years ago, a party supply store.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Sydney, Australia

30 years ago, my mum was “Patches The Clown” catering for kids parties. Her passion for parties led her to open a small party store with my grandfather. From the age of 4, I was put to work filling small bags with sand for 5 cents each which would be used to weigh down helium balloons on tables.

We love change. Every time something changes, there is an opportunity for us to be early and capitalize while everyone else drags their feet.


Dean Salakas, on starting The Party People ($300,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start a money lending company ($3.6M/year)

Michael Mikhail from Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA started Stratton Equities almost 3 years ago, a money lending company.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: Tinton Falls, New Jersey, USA

I've been a fluctuating entrepreneur my whole life, but I’ve always come back to the mortgage industry, purchasing my first investment property at 19 utilizing a hard money loan program.

You're only as strong as your team and as an entrepreneur you need to understand the pain points in every area - and understand how to alleviate them.

Even before I started Stratton Equities, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and had previously worked in the mortgage industry as well as developed several small businesses throughout my career. Prior to launching my mortgage business; I had been a successful personal trainer while living in Dubai, I had created a hand car wash and detail shop while living in Florida, and even designed a high-end vitamin supplement company in New Jersey while launching Stratton Equities.


Michael Mikhail, on starting Stratton Equities ($300,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a volleyball net product ($2.28M/year)

Chris Meade from Miami, Florida, USA started CROSSNET over 3 years ago, a volleyball net product.

  • Revenue: $190,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

I graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with a film degree in 2014. Growing up in a small farm town in Woodstock, CT, my dream was always to make it big and become a famous horror movie director. I had such a strong passion for directing and cinematography, but after one cold morning in Chinatown at 4 am on the set of the HBO show GIRLS, I knew that I wasn’t cracked up for that life.

I then took my first sales job in 2015 at a software company in New York City called Contently to pay off my student loans. It ended up being one of the most important things I ever did as I learned invaluable sales and outreach skills that would help me later land deals for CROSSNET with retailers such as DICK’S, Target, Academy, Walmart, and Scheels.

After a lovely layoff in the spring of 2017, I got offered a gig as Uber’s first-ever external Account Executive in their NY HQ helping launching UberEats in Boston and Providence. Through Uber’s relaxed start-up culture and demanding sales quotas, I learned the value of providing autonomy and trust to my future employees and freelancers. Who cares if you take a 20-minute coffee break and take an extra day off if you are hitting 150% of your quota. I have that same mentality for all of my employees, as long as we are hitting our deadlines, putting out high-quality work, there’s no need to add extra stress in anybody's life.


Chris Meade, on starting CROSSNET ($190,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a healthy meal delivery service ($1.56M/year)

Cesar Quintero from Miami, Florida, USA started Fit2Go about 16 years ago, a healthy meal delivery service.

  • Revenue: $130,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 11
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

I have an engineering degree and a corporate marketing background, and worked as a production engineer in Venezuela, specializing in logistics and project management. I also spent four years as a marketing manager in R&D for Proctor and Gamble in Latin America.

Three factors combined to fuel my move to Miami in 2005 and change my career path. First, things were economically tough in Venezuela. Second, I wanted to start a business. And finally, while I’d found weight management to be a lifelong struggle, the corporate lifestyle made it even more difficult. A hectic work schedule basically gives you two options—grab something from the vending machine or hit a fast food joint.

For a long time, I thought that being a good leader meant feigning total strength and confidence. This is a big problem with first-time and even many seasoned entrepreneurs—those negative connotations around the positive concept of vulnerability.


Cesar Quintero, on starting Fit2Go ($130,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start an activewear brand ($1.26M/year)

Julie New from Newcastle, Australia started Be Activewear about 6 years ago, a activewear brand.

  • Revenue: $105,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Newcastle, Australia

I started Be Activewear because there needed to be a place where if you were a size 6 or 26 and you wanted to wear bright pink tights, go out, get them and OWN IT.

After a successful corporate career I found myself being a single mum, relocating and working part time, all while completing my MBA. During this time I knew I wanted to start my own business so I could have more control on how I spent my time.

A lot of people spend a lot of time on logos, website design… my focus was to get it launched and learn along the way what works.


Julie New, on starting Be Activewear ($105,000/month) full story ➜

15. Start a cooking class business ($1.2M/year)

Monika Reti from Santa Ana, California, USA started Hipcooks almost 7 years ago, a cooking class business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Santa Ana, California, USA

In true Hipcooks fashion: I’m not a culinary school graduate — I’m a hack! Here’s my story:

I’m first-generation American (Mom is from Germany and Dad from Argentina). My parents were young foreign students in the US and their friends were the other international students: I was a kid surrounded by people from different nationalities, like Spain, Russia, France, and the UK. I was a child foodie and loved to experience culture through food.

I caught the travel bug early, living in Argentina (studying economics in college), traveling through Europe, and moved to England for graduate school (I have a Master’s in Economics from LSE.) While in school, I cooked my way through a series of London restaurants in the gastro-boom of the ’90s, just for fun. My first job was on the West Coast, as an econometrician at the RAND Corporation.


Monika Reti, on starting Hipcooks ($100,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start an ecommerce platform ($1.2M/year)

Nick and Angelica from Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA started Romans Tide over 5 years ago, a ecommerce platform.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA

Outsource everything. The classic entrepreneur’s mistake is to try and do everything yourself. When I look back on it I definitely had the funds to outsource more and bootstrap less.

If it wasn't for that struggle I would have never made it to where I am today. I was forced into entrepreneurship because I was not someone people could hire. I always got along with people at interviews and people liked me but I was not hireable due to the mistakes I made in the past surrounding my issues with drugs and alcohol as a teenager.

Embrace the struggle. Good times can make you soft. I appreciate my life now and keep an attitude of gratitude but I never forget where I came from. I never forget not knowing where my next meal would come from or not knowing where I was going to sleep at night. Believe it or not, I have had worse times and been worse places than being homeless but I won't go there here

I got my GED at 16 so I didn’t even finish high school, before starting my business I did take some college classes at a local community college. I wanted to become a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine and attend Bastyr University.

I loved learning things but always struggled with the long road of school which held no guarantee of success, just a guarantee of debt.

My journey into entrepreneurship started as an early teenager hustling here and there just to put food in my mouth and fuel in the gas tank. My first real business was a landscaping business I started with a friend that didn't work out. We thought it would be a good idea because he had the work and I had the business mindset of growing and scaling. The opportunity was there but we did not collaborate well. Even with my guidance he did not want to change his habits. This led to us butting heads, ending our business, tainting our friendship, and me $20,000 in debt. After that had failed me I came across a program that taught people how to dropship on eBay for $20 a month. I really liked the idea of this as it gave me the opportunity to work from anywhere and be my own boss which are two things I really wanted. After a few months of hard work, things went well and I paid $500 for the selling on Amazon training. I literally had no idea what I was doing when my Amazon business took off. In a sense, Amazon was my crash course in business. It taught me how to hire and manage employees, how to set up payroll, how to outsource, how to do accounting, how to leverage credit and financing, how to market, how to do advertising. It taught me everything I know about business in the harshest way possible lol


Nick and Angelica, on starting Romans Tide ($100,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a skin care line ($1.1M/year)

Kismet Andrews from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada started LoLo Body Care about 14 years ago, a skin care line.

  • Revenue: $92,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

My Grandmother taught me to make Face Cream when I was about thirteen. While I enjoyed the time we spent together, moisturizer was not something I used and while it was wasted on youth, the impact of women lining up outside her front door was not; it’s one of the things I remember most.

Fast forward to the ’80s, and you’ll find me working for a large medical center. I had a creative side and was asked by the Administration to decorate two medical facilities for the holidays. When I inquired about funds to make this holiday magic happen, I was told to “have a bake sale.” Baking cookies is not my thing so I reformulated my Grandmother's face cream into solid moisturizing bars - which by the way, were just beginning to show up in the marketplace.

Making them at night in my kitchen, I sold them during my lunch hour at a table strategically positioned between the front door and the cafeteria and on weekends at Medical Center sponsored events. I pulled a volunteer team together to help decorate and sell, and each year we raised enough money to fund the raw ingredients and decorations.


Kismet Andrews, on starting LoLo Body Care ($92,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a fashion supply business ($960K/year)

Apaar Gupta from New Delhi, Delhi, India started The Design Cart almost 3 years ago, a fashion supply business.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: New Delhi, Delhi, India

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.


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

19. Start a wine club ($900K/year)

Alessandro Pepe from Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy started Roscioli Wine Club over 3 years ago, a wine club.

  • Revenue: $75,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy

A bit about us. Alessandro is a crazy, passionate, deep, cultural Italian and we could call him the dark side of the force. He has worked with wine for over 20 years, hosted more than 5,000 tastings, managed Roscioli’s cellar, and has worked as a sommelier under the mentorship of Maurizio Papparello.

Our mission and goal were simple - we would create the best possible wine club in the world and one that we would be excited to be a part of - with Italian wines from small producers, farmed organically, minimal sulfites added, respect for the land - and put the winemaker's story in the center of it all.

Before that, he had opened 3 wine bars in Dublin, has acted, produced documentaries, edited videos, and has brought all of this experience along with the enjoyment of hosting wine tastings at home for his friends when he opened up Rimessa Roscioli. Born of an anthropologist mother and a philosopher father, he was able to create a unique, convivial, and cultural - yet entertaining - experience which grew into a highly demanded and a #1 to-do event on TripAdvisor for years. Anyone who meets him will never forget him.


Alessandro Pepe, on starting Roscioli Wine Club ($75,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start a clothing manufacturing business ($888K/year)

Donovan Mathews from Singapore, Singapore started Bryden Apparel over 6 years ago, a clothing manufacturing business.

  • Revenue: $74,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Singapore, Singapore

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.


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

21. Start a network marketing software ($780K/year)

Abdul Majeed from Kozhikode, Kerala, India started Infinite MLM Software almost 12 years ago, a network marketing software.

  • Revenue: $65,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 100
  • Location: Kozhikode, Kerala, India

Yes! It was the struggling period for us to cross all the hurdles to success. There is a saying that success will not come to you, instead, you need to keep on trying to get success in all the aspects of your life.

We, five members, we're working in an IT company and our ideas were merged to form a unity in establishing IOSS. Our idea to start up with product marketing came up with our plan about dreaming and enduring the future. We submitted our idea to TBI Manager (Technical Business Incubation) and they approved it and we received some funds from the investors to start our first business venture, the development of school tracking software and it was a great success but we could not support a similar type of product marketing.

So we started with an affiliate marketing tool, where we researched more into the MLM field and its business operations. We found many people into multi-level marketing and earning as a part-time or full-time business and that manual work could be done through the software to make their business tracking in an easy way. This gave us an opportunity to support an MLM business owner and we got our first client from Bangladesh to build MLM software for his MLM business. This paved the way for our flagship product.


Abdul Majeed, on starting Infinite MLM Software ($65,000/month) full story ➜

22. Start a digital magazine ($600K/year)

Drew Williams from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started SWAGGER Magazine over 13 years ago, a digital magazine.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Honestly, the idea started as a hobby.

When I started the blog in 2007, it was meant to be an alternative to the major men’s magazines on shelves because the magazine industry still hadn’t fully accepted the fact that everything was going digital and that print would be dying a slow and painful death. I wanted men to have access to cool guy things online, as well as dating advice, with a focus on realistic male acquisitions instead of focusing on things your average guy could not afford. Promoting the "fake it till you make it mentality".

I had worked for a magazine called Performance Auto and Sound Magazine pasmag.com, so I had in-depth knowledge about the business from a print perspective.


Drew Williams, on starting SWAGGER Magazine ($50,000/month) full story ➜

23. Become a college counselor ($600K/year)

Pradeep Gaddam from San Jose, California, USA started ConnecPath about 3 years ago, a college counselor.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: San Jose, California, USA

I started my career as a researcher at NASA where I helped scientists visualize data. It did not take long before I realized that research is not a place for me. I thought to join a big company would make it exciting for me, I then joined Intel Corporation only to realize that's not a place for me. It took me 10 years to realize that being an entrepreneur is where I felt more fit and excited. I always knew, If I had the right mentor I would not have wasted 10 precious years.

All this made sense to me, when I met my co-founder over a beer, he mentioned an interesting data point to me. The ratio between a high school counselor and students is 1:500, which means the amount of time, a student gets over their entire high school is 38 minutes. That clearly is a huge problem and interestingly of all the high school students that get into colleges, 40% of them either end up changing majors, colleges, not graduating on time or not graduating at all.

I think that's a very serious problem. I instantly connected with that problem and we decided that we will certainly fix it. That’s how we started on this journey.


Pradeep Gaddam, on starting ConnecPath ($50,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start an event management company ($480K/year)

Celeste Durve from Los Angeles, California, USA started VIPER by KCH almost 4 years ago, a event management company.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Both of us were interns and freelance production assistants when we developed the idea for VIPER. We met while interning for Bolthouse Productions in 2014, a popular nightlife company.

We were working as production assistants on the side and were overworked and underpaid but we both had a ton of drive and ambition. One night towards the end of 2015, we bumped into each other while working the same event and were surprised to see the other person working.

In order to get this off the ground, we kept side jobs and pushed all the money back into the company and paying our staff.


Celeste Durve, on starting VIPER by KCH ($40,000/month) full story ➜

25. Start a clothing line ($480K/year)

Ray Li from Los Angeles, California, USA started Sene almost 4 years ago, a clothing line.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

After graduating from Cornell, I was in management consulting at Deloitte doing global process transformations.

It is not about how smart you are, it’s about the grit to stick it through the darkest and loneliest times.

Then I wanted to experience the other side of the coin, and went to Interbrand and helped companies define their global brand strategy. During my time there, I won a Rebrand100 award for the strategy work for turning around what used to be The Yellow Pages.


Ray Li, on starting Sene ($40,000/month) full story ➜

26. Start a furniture business ($444K/year)

John Humphreys from Austin, Texas, USA started Humphreys almost 4 years ago, a furniture business.

  • Revenue: $37,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Since I was a kid I have always had a sense of wonder about the world and the mechanisms behind it. Whether it be a jet engine or a windshield wiper-I have thought about the creative process behind these things since I was 10 years old.

I drew houses as a kid. My dad grew up in a home designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright, it was a solar home and it had an odd features. One example is, the entire back wall that was about 100 feet long and 15 feet high comprised of windows that all opened. In front, there were functioning levers that had fans which would draw airflow in and out.

Growing up I thought I wanted to be a pilot. I was described in high school by a classmate as “poetic” which I found offensive. I tried a hand in many things; managing a farm and pre-school, which were two businesses I inherited. This type of work wasn’t for me.


John Humphreys, on starting Humphreys ($37,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a poetry business ($420K/year)

Daniel Zaltsman and Erick Szentmiklosy from Remote started The Haiku Guys & Gals ago, a poetry business.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Remote

People always ask us if we’re poets or writers. The short answer is yes, but it wasn’t always that way. In our adolescent years, we both wrote poetry here and there but individually decided we were pretty bad at it. Erick even failed poetry class in high school. Erick comes from Hungarian and Colombian parents, grew up skateboarding, listening to rock, and reading Henry Miller in Dover, NJ. Daniel was born in Saint Petersburg, emigrated to the US and grew up in Cliffside Park, NJ performing in Russian plays, ballroom dancing, and playing counter strike.

Both of us grew up in lower-middle-class households and our journeys crossed at freshman orientation of Montclair State University. We spent most of our time studying at the library and going on vision quests. Our studies, like our interests, intersected - Daniel’s Marketing and Sociology and Erick’s Mathematics and Philosophy. Later these would serve as foundations for running our business.

During senior year, we wanted to start a business but had no idea what business to start or how to go about it. Inspired by a late-night dazed encounter with a stop sign, we developed a logo that replaced STOP with START. Shortly thereafter, our friend Zach came back from a keynote by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, and was reeling about how inspired he was by the story. A lightbulb went off: we should interview entrepreneurs and share their stories on the internet as inspiration for other people to START going after their dreams. But how would we find these entrepreneurs?


Daniel Zaltsman and Erick Szentmiklosy, on starting The Haiku Guys & Gals ($35,000/month) full story ➜

28. Start a headwear brand ($360K/year)

Jeff Phillips from Whistler Resort Municipality, British Columbia, Canada started Beardo almost 15 years ago, a headwear brand.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Whistler Resort Municipality, British Columbia, Canada

I suppose I get my creativity from my Dad and Grandpa. They both were always looking for ways to improve things and generally just liked working with their hands. I’ll never forget the day my dad designed a ‘can crusher’ so that our recycling didn’t take up so much space. He never wanted to put it to market or anything like that, but just wanted it for himself. When he saw that someone had released one a few months later and was probably making millions on it, he was pretty annoyed!

Like Dad and Grandpa, I am constantly thinking of crazy inventions and edits around the house to make life simpler. It’s not something I can turn off, so I started writing my ideas down in a journal. I guess it was just a matter of time until one of us went into mass production with a crazy invention!

The Beardo came about organically and out of sheer necessity.


Jeff Phillips, on starting Beardo ($30,000/month) full story ➜

29. Start a food delivery business ($300K/year)

Marcia Wiggins from South Portland, Maine, USA started Cape Whoopies almost 8 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: South Portland, Maine, USA

Before Cape Whoopies was conceived, I was enjoying being the mom of two kids in high school, the wife to an airline pilot, and an aerobics teacher at my local gym.

When my kids had gone off to college and my husband was in the air, I had much time on my hands. There was only so much time you could spend at the gym, so with the newfound extra time I splurged in one of the things I always loved doing: making delicious baked things for friends.

My husband and I spend time a local restaurant as a hangout when he was home, so we would go to DiMillos and take our server friends whoopie pies. Why whoopie pies? I had tasted the Maine creation and thought, "good idea, not great execution".


Marcia Wiggins, on starting Cape Whoopies ($25,000/month) full story ➜

30. Start a sunglasses business ($300K/year)

Jeff Phillips from Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia started Grown Eyewear over 9 years ago, a sunglasses business.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

I was a teacher and would find my mind wandering to product ideas in class. I would say I was a good teacher and liked doing it, but it was clear that it wasn’t quite enough. In 2009 I had launched a headwear brand (Beardo®) and it was going quite well, but I had an urge to do something that would do good. So odd as it seems, the idea to create a company that ‘did only good’ came long before the actual product idea.

Be stubborn in your pursuits, but not so stubborn that you won’t humor the idea of changing paths if something isn’t likely to work.

I didn’t know what I was going to sell, only that the profits would go to help others. I was first inspired by a documentary I saw on TV in Australia about an eye doctor named Fred Hollows.


Jeff Phillips, on starting Grown Eyewear ($25,000/month) full story ➜

31. Start an online advertising agency ($300K/year)

Luis Camacho from Phoenix, Arizona, USA started Fantôm Agency over 2 years ago, a online advertising agency.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

When I tell my story I like to get into the details of how I landed where I currently am and where I am going. I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico. I ended up in the United States after my father got a job offer for a marketing position at a semiconductor company, this was when I was only 10 years old. To be honest, the move definitely had an effect on me. When I lived in Mexico I was a fairly outgoing kid and (I believe) the move caused a shift that made me more of an introvert so you could say that was a bit against me, since I didn’t necessarily enjoy being the center of attention or being “noticed” too much for much of my upbringing. I finished high school and went to Arizona State University where I completed my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing alongside a certificate in entrepreneurship.

Right around the time of graduation from high school and the start of college I started a clothing line. I believe I was only 19 at the time and I didn’t have a budget to promote the new clothing line, so I turned to social media as my route to promote and sell the new products. I had to learn everything from Photoshop to constructing a website, content, photography, content distribution, supplier relationships, and many other skills. After seeing success marketing on social media, I quickly found that I was passionate about digital marketing. I then realized that there was a place where I could polish up my digital marketing skills, an agency, which to my surprise were not as concerned with academics as they were with real-world experience.

I went on to work for a marketing agency, after finally finding one was willing to overlook my lack of agency experience and realized that my entrepreneurial spirit and persistence would outweigh the need for the experience all the agencies were looking for. I was hungry. At this agency, I got hired on as a content writer (which I didn’t necessarily enjoy the most, but I knew I had to do it if I wanted to eventually lead the paid advertising department which was my goal). I was able to do just that within a year. I studied the ins and outs of the agency, how it operated, how it dealt with clients, how it made mistakes, and most importantly what helped it scale.


Luis Camacho, on starting Fantôm Agency ($25,000/month) full story ➜

32. Start a digital agency ($264K/year)

Hailey Brooke McFadden from started Power Move Marketing 8 months ago, a digital agency.

  • Revenue: $22,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location:

I have a pretty decently sized personal following on IG from being a college volleyball player and a short stint as a sideline reporter for ACCN/ ESPN. Companies began reaching out to me asking me to post and I told one company no because their IG and website weren’t very professional and it would do him a disservice because even if I got the traffic there I knew it wouldn’t convert.

Give people recognition and praise for a job well done, even if your co-founder or employee is a friend or spouse… don’t forget they need a little love too!

So he said, “why don’t you run it then?”. I ended up running his socials, doing all his emails, working with suppliers to make new products, creating an ambassador program, editing the website, customer service, and more! Once I posted about my success with this company, more and more companies began reaching out for help! Most companies already had several marketing teams on when I would come on and my ads and other work always outperformed theirs. I realized I brought something the other companies couldn’t- cohesiveness with email, socials, ads, etc.


Hailey Brooke McFadden , on starting Power Move Marketing ($22,000/month) full story ➜

33. Start a protein bar company ($180K/year)

Raivis from Vidzeme, Latvia started Coffee Pixels almost 11 years ago, a protein bar company.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Vidzeme, Latvia

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.


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

34. Start a software integration plugin ($144K/year)

Jae Jun from Seattle, Washington, USA started GORILLA ROI over 2 years ago, a software integration plugin.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

I’m sure you know that one person in the office who is a spreadsheet geek, right?

That person who can whip out some crazy complex spreadsheet without batting an eye and seems to enjoy playing around with thousands of little boxes on the screen.

That’s me.


Jae Jun, on starting GORILLA ROI ($12,000/month) full story ➜

35. Become a digital product designer ($126K/year)

Abb-d Choudhury from Brighton, England, United Kingdom started Curate Labs over 4 years ago, a digital product designer.

  • Revenue: $10,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Curate Labs stemmed from an initial publication we created called Curate Magazine. The concept behind CM was, ‘one theme, many interpretations – Challenging perspectives through conversation, expression, and curiosity’. Traditionally, I and Sara had worked in large agencies working with big international brands.

Through our roles, we hit a saturation point and fell out of love with the work. From here we decided to set up our own practice, launching from the popularity of Curate Magazine, and creating Curate Labs as a creative, experimental design practice focused on ethics and design for good.

Links to previous issues of Curate Magazine…Issue 4, Issue 5, Issue 6.


Abb-d Choudhury, on starting Curate Labs ($10,500/month) full story ➜

36. Become an author ($120K/year)

Nick Thacker from Colorado, USA started Nick Thacker almost 4 years ago, a author.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Colorado, USA

I’ve always been a fanatic reader, specifically in the thriller genre. I discovered Dan Brown as a kid, then James Rollins, and I’ve always love action movies that combine adrenaline and history (think National Treasure, Indiana Jones, etc.).

I decided to write a book (my first was called The Golden Crystal, and it has been re-launched as The Atlantis Stone) when my grandfather passed away. He had always been a strong positive influence in my life, and he, my dad, and I often swapped paperbacks we liked. That first book was intended as a gift for my dad for Christmas, and it was going to be the only one I ever wrote -- just to see if I could do it.

I had no idea what I was doing (arguably, I still don’t…). I just thought it would be fun to combine technology with the discovery of Atlantis… in some way. When I got started, I was naive enough to think that books simply happen, but the book very quickly got the best of me. I took a six-month break and consumed as much as I could on the subject of the craft of writing fiction. I’d never really written anything before, so it was an eye-opening experience to learn about structure, plot tropes, character development, and everything else that goes into a good, cohesive story.


Nick Thacker, on starting Nick Thacker ($10,000/month) full story ➜

37. Start an explainer video business ($120K/year)

Marco Gatti from Tallinn, Estonia started Mediatopsolution OU over 2 years ago, a explainer video business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Tallinn, Estonia

I've always been a salesperson within the family company. A need I often felt in my relationships with customers, was the wish to communicate in a more attractive, engaging and persuasive way. I wanted to win them over and make sure they remembered my messages.

So I started looking for a powerful and innovative way to convey my communications. All this until I stumbled upon something that really caught my attention: the animated video that Robert Cialdini, a Psychology and Marketing professor at Stanford University, had used to promote his books “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”. I liked it instantly: I found it immediate, engaging and easy to remember. And then I thought: of course if such a great mentor of the laws of persuasion has relied on this tool of communication, it must mean something!

At that moment I decided to use the power of video animations to increase the effectiveness of my business relationships with customers. But there was a problem: the existing services had exorbitant costs, about 10,000 dollars per minute, far too much for a company like ours. So I tried and made a video for my family's company myself. The first results were really not professional: I did everything, from the script to the animation including the audio, with my voice. I even recorded it in a small room, putting a sock on the microphone to reduce the reverb effect!


Marco Gatti, on starting Mediatopsolution OU ($10,000/month) full story ➜

38. Start a woodworking business ($72K/year)

Sasha Weekes from Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada started Timber Grove Studios over 3 years ago, a woodworking business.

  • Revenue: $6,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Hunter River, Prince Edward Island, Canada

I was always the art kid growing up, so I naturally began my post secondary education by pursuing a degree in Fine Arts. I spent my summers refinishing furniture and doing photography and that’s how I got my feet wet with business, so by my second year, I was also pursuing a minor in Commerce.

I had never really done much woodworking at all but became a lot more interested in design and home decor during those years. After finishing my third year, I was itching to do something more practical than becoming a gallery artist, so I set my sights on furniture design and enrolled in a college cabinetmaking course instead. It really wasn’t where I had ever expected to end up, but it was sort of a natural progression and I’m so glad I did it!

I started making mountain shelves in the morning before class to sell on Facebook and Kijiji. It was intended to be a fun side project but they were so popular that I started my business shortly after graduating with the mountains as my first product.


Sasha Weekes, on starting Timber Grove Studios ($6,000/month) full story ➜

39. Start a branding agency ($60K/year)

Elva Li from Victoria, Australia started Elva Li over 4 years ago, a branding agency.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Victoria, Australia

There’s a song on repeat in my world and whenever I play it, it reminds me of the time I started my own business and finally left my corporate job.

“I spend too much time thinking about who I'm supposed to be I play by everybody's rules that don't seem right to me

Should I even care? They're all sitting there and everyone's staring at me If I step out in the spotlight maybe I'll be set free


Elva Li, on starting Elva Li ($5,000/month) full story ➜

40. Start an it company ($60K/year)

Maanda Mulaudzi from Remote started Common Sense Holdings over 1 year ago, a IT company.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Remote

I would have to say I have always wanted to start my own business even from high school. I started a business with a high school friend and we would sell custom basketball shoes. Then my second business was making school sports gear throughout the university. During this period from high school until now, I have been a professional skateboarder, which has helped me travel all over the world. This was also a way I made money through hosting and organizing events.

When you think you have all the answers that will lead you to make more mistakes if you don't know something just ask someone who has that knowledge. This will help you reduce mistakes, swallow your pride, this is business.

I graduated from university as an industrial engineer and also have a diploma in financial management and have worked in various industries such as automotive, media and broadcasting, education, and manufacturing. After five years in the corporate world, I decided to travel and explore more of the world.


Maanda Mulaudzi, on starting Common Sense Holdings ($5,000/month) full story ➜

41. Start a backyard plant nursery ($60K/year)

Debbie Odom from Georgia started CamelliaShop over 13 years ago, a backyard plant nursery.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Georgia

In 1991, I had the life-changing opportunity to become a part of Gene’s Nursery, one of the oldest nurseries in Savannah Georgia.

When I had the opportunity to leave my office job and get my hands into soil, I was happy and I was hooked.

Gene’s Nursery has its roots firmly planted in our quaint historic coastal city and it’s passion was the Camellia. Camellias are ornamental shrubs that produce brilliant blossoms during the fall and winter. They are the most unique flowering shrub species found today and are considered the Queen of Ornamental shrubs.


Debbie Odom, on starting CamelliaShop ($5,000/month) full story ➜

42. Start a men's underwear brand ($60K/year)

Krystian Frencel from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Bunch of Animals about 2 years ago, a men's underwear brand.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In late 2014, I came across a very unique underwear brand from Australia, Stonemen Underwear. I think I found them on Instagram.

What really drew me to the underwear were the seamless prints which looked like pieces of art sprawling across like a painting on a canvas.


Krystian Frencel, on starting Bunch of Animals ($5,000/month) full story ➜

43. Start a beverage company ($54K/year)

Aaron Weast from Portland, Oregon, USA started Drink Shrub almost 4 years ago, a beverage company.

  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

In February of 2015 I made one of the most difficult decisions of my life. That was to enter a treatment program for alcohol addiction. I’d been struggling to contain and control my habit for a while, and everything I’d tried had failed. With an incredible amount of support from my family, I entered a treatment facility where I could focus on solving the problem once and for all.

When one’s focus is on a substance and how to get the next drink you put all of your life dreams on hold. Now that I had clarity of mind and energy to put toward living out my dreams it was time to get started. The first of my life dreams to tackle: entrepreneurship.

It is common for folks to have cathartic moments while going through such a significant life change. In my case, two things became acutely clear. First, I wanted to be a better person. In the recent past I’d been selfish and hurt a lot of people. I wanted not only to right the wrongs as much as possible but also pay forward what my support network had given me. So whatever I did, a portion of the proceeds would go toward an organization that helps folks in need - particularly those that don’t have the robust support network I do. I’m proud to say that since day one, Drink Shrub has donated a percentage of revenue to LifeWorksNW.


Aaron Weast, on starting Drink Shrub ($4,500/month) full story ➜

44. Start a game store ($50.4K/year)

OLIVER JENKS from Canterbury, England, United Kingdom started Speedcube New Zealand ago, a game store.

  • Revenue: $4,200/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Canterbury, England, United Kingdom

After I graduated high school in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, I didn’t really have any idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had been pulled into a million different directions, Physics, Music, Air traffic control, to name but a few.

If you don’t continuously work on the little things, it’ll come across as messy and present an unprofessional image to your customers.

I was well into solving puzzles at this point, and had attended my first speedcubing competitions, but hadn’t really considered it to be anything more than a hobby at this point.


OLIVER JENKS, on starting Speedcube New Zealand ($4,200/month) full story ➜

45. Start a visitor management system business ($30K/year)

Gaurav Saini from Chandigarh, India started Vizitor over 2 years ago, a visitor management system business.

  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Chandigarh, India

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.


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

46. Start a wallet brand ($30K/year)

Kan Yamamoto from Kochi started Kamino Wallet over 2 years ago, a wallet brand.

  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Kochi

I am a self-employed graphic designer who also works as a woodworker/lumberjack. I was born and grew up in Kochi, Japan but moved to Europe and have spent my twenties in Switzerland and Berlin, where I practiced graphic design and the fine arts. After I graduated from the University of Art Berlin in 2011, I returned to Japan to dig deep into my cultural roots and to contribute to the local community.

I thought the best thing would be to learn how to create small businesses myself. And by doing it, I could be an example for the younger generation to show that it doesn't matter where you live. You could build a global business, however small it is.

Now I am living in a mountainous village in a suburban area of the city of Kochi. I love living near to nature, and the quality of life here is irreplaceable, but one of the biggest problems in rural areas is that there are no jobs. So I thought the best thing would be to learn how to create small businesses myself. And by doing it, I could be an example for the younger generation to show that it doesn't matter where you live. You could build a global business, however small it is.


Kan Yamamoto, on starting Kamino Wallet ($2,500/month) full story ➜

47. Start a lifestyle product brand ($12K/year)

Jhumkee Iyengar from Pune, Maharashtra, India started Ohrna about 3 years ago, a lifestyle product brand.

  • Revenue: $1,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Pune, Maharashtra, India

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.


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

48. Start a sustainable mug brand ($7.8K/year)

Melanie Goel from Munich, Bavaria, Germany started alpengraphics - the zero-plastic outdoor company over 1 year ago, a sustainable mug brand.

  • Revenue: $650/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Munich, Bavaria, Germany

I grew up and live close to the German Alps (south of Munich). I used to be a professional cross country skier, so nature and its beauty are deeply entrenched in my value system. Recently, the outdoor trend on Instagram has changed our mountaineering culture a lot. This increasingly worried me during the various hikes I did every week. But somehow I didn’t really know what to do about it.

That changed when I joined Tesla as the marketing manager for energy products in the DACH region. After a career in marketing in a few other sectors, this was the first time I was confronted with so-called “Green Marketing” and was immediately hooked on its potential. Not because things sell better when they’re labeled green, but because it opened the door to promote more sustainable materialism.

If I can make people buy a truly sustainable product, which was produced eco-friendly and is made of materials that last a lifetime, instead of disposable or plastic goods, I could feel much more peaceful about my profession.


Melanie Goel, on starting alpengraphics - the zero-plastic outdoor company ($650/month) full story ➜

49. Start an user feedback app ($6K/year)

Mike Slaats from Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands started Upvoty over 1 year ago, a user feedback app.

  • Revenue: $500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Eindhoven, North Brabant, The Netherlands

I dropped out of college when I was 18 years old and was highly interested in “the internet”.

So I started my first online business: an online print webshop where you could order nice looking t-shirts with mostly self-designed animations.

Soon I was able to sell throughout the whole Netherlands and people started to ask me if I could help them with their online marketing too. This was very interesting to me because this way I could help out others and make more money.


Mike Slaats, on starting Upvoty ($500/month) full story ➜

50. Start a travel company

Here are some examples of a successful travel company in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


51. Start a bakery business

Here are some examples of a successful bakery business in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


52. Start a restaurant

Here are some examples of a successful restaurant in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


53. Start a construction company

Here are some examples of a successful construction company in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


54. Start a shipping company

Here are some examples of a successful shipping company in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


55. Start a gardening classes business

Here are some examples of a successful gardening classes business in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


56. Start a pet accessories business ($0/year)

Yuri from Chernihivska municipal council, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine started COLLAR almost 26 years ago, a pet accessories business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 500
  • Location: Chernihivska municipal council, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine

When I was a teenager, I adopted my first puppy. But in 1995 in my native city, there were no pet accessories manufacturers. My father and I, had to make the collar from a uniform belt by myself. Later, when I walked my dog, my friends came to ask where I got such a collar and ordered some similar for their pets. That’s how the story of COLLAR company started.

With the development of the company I understood that looking at the foreign ideas may work great for the Ukrainian market, but to conquer the international one I had to make something entirely new. Then the motto of the company - “Innovation only” - was born. Now every idea that is proposed in COLLAR company shall pass the simple test: is it really innovative? Is it better than anything that already exists in the market? Does it fill the still empty niche? If the answer is “yes” the idea turns into a project and then into a product.

Now COLLAR company has grown from a small flat in Chernihiv to an international manufacturer with more than 500 employees and offices all over the globe. The products we invent and produce are well-known in European, Asian and American pet stores, but we still do our best to fascinate the customers even more with new innovations.


Yuri, on starting COLLAR ($0/month) full story ➜

57. Start a restaurant discovery platform

Here are some examples of a successful restaurant discovery platform in St. Louis:

Want to get started? Here are a few great resources:


Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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