HUMBLE BEGINNINGS: International businesses that started small

I don’t know about you guys, but reading stories on how something small can grow into something huge and successful gives you that mindset that if he can do it, I can do it, too.

Which is why we want to give you the motivation to fulfill your dreams with these successful international business that started from legit scratch.


The most famous smartphone brand began in a small garage in California. In 1976, then 21 year old Steve Jobs and 26 year old Steve Wonzaik sold 50 units of a Wozniak’s Apple 1 Computer for $500 a unit. It took them around 30 days to hand built those 50 units. And today, Apple one of the most innovative smartphones in the world, and is set to release iPhone 8.


The world’s “largest online retailer” had its humble beginnings in a garage in Washington. Jeff Bezos, who founded Amazon in 1994 as an online bookstore. The first book he sold was in July 1995, and he was able to issue his IPO in two years’ time. Now, Amazon has gone beyond being an online bookstore.


The world famous media conglomerate began in Walt Disney’s uncle’s one-car garage in 1923. Then called The Disney Brothers Studio, Walt and his brother filmed “Alice Comedies” that later inspired Alice in Wonderland. In just a few months, the brothers moved to another lot where they signed a deal with Universal Studios for Alice Comedies. You know the rest.


Coffee Bean started as a “mom-and-pop” coffee shop by Herbert Hyman in 1963. What was just a family run coffee shop in Los Angeles now has over 300 stores across the globe under the International Coffee & Tea, LLC.


How about another coffee brand? Starbucks Coffee began in Seattle back in 1971 by three former students of the University of San Francisco.  Before, Starbucks only sold coffee beans inspired by Alfred Peet – who was said to be a roasting legend. Eight years after, a former Starbucks employee ended up buying the company and help it turn into a business giant that it is today.


Two Stanford University graduates kickstarted Google in a garage in California in September 1998. Then students Larry Page and Sergey Brin found a good path that however got in the way of their studies. They tried to sell Google to Excite for $1 million, but was rejected. Guess who’s regretting now because Google is now the most trafficked site in the world.

We hope that these stories will motivate you to work hard as these iconic businesses started from there. Never mind what you have right now, what matters is that you have the passion to pursue what you want in life. If you’re stuck, just go back to this list and remember how everyone started.

SOURCES: 1, 2, 3, 4