Entrepreneurs who launched companies for under $150

You don’t have to break the bank to start a business.

For many would-be entrepreneurs, money is the insurmountable hurdle. They hunger to strike out on their own, but don't have a big pile of cash to invest in a start-up that might not churn a profit for years to come. And they’re reluctant to stake what cash they do have while the economy is still shaky.

We decided to see if you could launch a venture for less than people think. A lot less. We set out to find bootstrapping business owners who started companies in recent years—without shelling out more than a couple of hundred dollars.

The ground rules: The entrepreneurs had to be either paying themselves a salary or reinvesting substantial profits in the business, as well as planning to continue down the entrepreneurial path for some time to come. We also nixed people who opened consulting firms in fields where they had already built careers. While that’s certainly entrepreneurial, we wanted people who were truly starting from scratch.

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