Each business has a story. No matter if the business is a Goliath like Wal-Mart, or a local business owned by a couple or family, the business has roots in an idea. For each business owner, the story of their journey can range from monetary needs or the passion for a unique project. Each story is different though the reasons may be the same. No matter the tale, the background behind each and every business is what fuels each and brand.
We asked some entrepreneurs and business owners, why they started their businesses:
#1 – Personal Quest
For me, starting my own business was a personal quest. Losing my younger brother at the age of ten to cancer, I pledged to live a healthy life very early on. The inspiration behind Ozmo was the realization about the importance of hydration and how everyone takes it for granted. After seeing the negative effects of dehydration, both me and my co-founder, Ming, decided that we want to spread knowledge about hydration and create a product that could help with this problem. That's how Ozmo was born. We believe that with the proper knowledge about hydration, awareness of our body's hydration, and some friendly reminders, anyone can defeat dehydration. That's exactly what Ozmo Smart Bottles and Ap p are designed to do. Prior to starting Ozmo both Ming and I worked in a design house creating new and better products. Throughout my five years of experience in product development, I realized that most of product launch failure could have been avoided by getting the product right earlier on, or understanding the limit of the maker. This is a powerful advantage of being a Hong Kong-based startup – I can stay close to the manufacturing base and ensure quality. So far, I believe our devotion to getting it right the first time around has gotten us far.
Thanks to Serena Pau, Ozmo!
#2 – Passion Project
Hi my name is Raja Sahi, co-founder of Escapedom. I’m originally from New Delhi, India and have lived in the US for 10+ years now. My professional experience is in the area of delivering technology solutions for major movie studios. I have a passion for creativity, brain teasers and puzzles, making Escapedom a perfect pastime for me. My name is Zoltán Honti, co-founder of Escapedom. I’m also not originally from the U.S., having grown up in Hungary I came to the States over 12 years ago. I’m a cinematographer by trade and really enjoy creating visual environments. Having seen the success of escape rooms spread through Hungary and greater Eastern Europe I had a feeling they would catch on here in the States at some point. Zoltán and I have been friends for a long time and always had an idea to do a passion project together, outside of our regular day-to-day jobs. Zoltán being from Hungary, had read about escape rooms being popular there and doing well. So we had done a few searches in LA years back and there weren’t many companies as compared to now. We had hoped to be the first but obviously we weren’t 🙂 We both really enjoy puzzles and like working with our hands and solving things, so it seemed like a great fit for combined passions. Escapedom was officially created just about 2 years ago and we officially opened our first room about 1.5 years ago.
Thanks to Raja Sahi & Zoltán Honti, Escapedom!
#3 – New Baby
I started my business, Hobbe Home as a way to stay at home with my new baby but also as a way of continuing to work and contributing to our household income. I found a niche in the children's furniture market that I wanted to fill and so it was a no brainer for me to stop talking about this gap in the market and actually do something about it.
Thanks to Samantha Hobbelen, Hobbe!
#4 – Greater Freedom to Exercise My Creativity
When I was employed as a sales consultant, I noticed that many people in the profession still had negative and mistaken beliefs about selling. Many were still pushy and manipulative, which ultimately hurt their prospects, themselves, and the profession. Furthermore, I felt that sales training focused too much on techniques rather than changing attitudes toward selling. I felt that an inside-out approach would address the root of the problem by putting clients’ interests first. It was at this point that I decided to start Success Partners Australia, a sales training and consulting company. This would allow me to teach principles not offered by any other company, and transform the way people think and go about selling. On a personal level, running a business rather than being employed allowed me greater freedom to exercise my creativity. I can now design my own content and course delivery to provide my clients the best possible results. The higher risk of starting a new enterprise has paid off in a higher income, with greater flexibility in working hours and conditions.
Thanks Ben Lai, Success Partners!
#5 – Fill a Gap in the Marketplace
air events global is a shared economy platform for the events industry, connecting both sides of the marketplace, clients looking to outsource event work with event freelancers, looking for casual and contract employment in the events industry. air events global is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover and book event work, anywhere in the world. As an entrepreneur I launched air events global to fill a gap in the marketplace, connecting clients and event staff. It allows me as an entrepreneur to build the business and a brand from scratch, which is extremely challenging and rewarding all at once!
Thanks to Victoria Garlick, Aireventsglobal.com
#6 – Great Market Opportunity
We started Automotive Superstore as the online automotive parts market had not been addressed well. Incumbent players have little motivation to offer products online as it cannibalizes their brick & motor investment.
Selling car parts is also a very complex issues as matching parts to cars and ensuring compatibility in a consumer friendly way is very difficult to do. Historically people who have attempted this have struggled to create a convincing online experience as they lacked the digital expertise to develop and implement such a complex e-commerce experience. These 2 factors created a great market opportunity for us.
Thanks to babak sanayei, Automotive Super Store!
#7 – Helped a Miserable Situation
I own Feel Better Box. When I became sick one day, I was home with my two young children whilst my husband was interstate. With no family within the same state, I stayed at home all week with the flu alongside my sick children. Once we all recovered, I wondered what might have helped a miserable situation and that's when I thought of a care package. If someone had sent me a care package with remedies or items to brighten my spirits or occupy my mind, it would have made the terrible week less lonely. And that's how I started Feel Better Box.
Thanks to Sarah Willmott, Feel Better Box!
#8 – Jobs & Opportunities
I started my business to help other brands grow into sustainable businesses that provide jobs and opportunities for their local economies. We live in an era where everyone has the ability to positively impact communities, brands and individuals on a large scale. CrowdINK was born on the idea that uplifting stories want to be shared and circulated. Throughout news platform we're able to impact thousands of lives everyday through empowering and inspiring millennials to live a more holistic life.
Thanks to Judy Sahay, Crowd Media!
#9 – Shift in Media Landscape
I run award-winning agency InsideOut PR (established 2005) and founded social influencer agency #AsSeenOn last year. InsideOut PR was founded due to me being young and the thought that ‘I have nothing to lose'. I was working at a large multinational at the time and reached the highest level in the organisation within Communications at a very young age. Looking for another role – they were either too junior or I was viewed as too young – competing with applicants with 5-10 more years experience.#AsSeenOn was founded due to the shift in media landscape and the rising importance of social influencers.
Thanks to Nicole Reaney, InsideOut PR!
#10 – 2 Motivations
Despite my health professional background I’ve always had a love of fashion. When treating patients it was difficult to refer them to comfort footwear styles I wouldn’t want to wear myself, it felt hypocritical. But it was undeniable, footwear with the right support and cushioning alleviated foot symptoms, patients always reported better treatment results with the right shoes under their feet. As a Podiatrist & Physiotherapist, footwear could not be separated from my treatment if I was to provide the best care to my patients I needed to get their foundation (footwear) right. But the options of comfort shoes were….ghastly. It was the day a patient nearly cried when I was showing her some comfort shoes that would be great for her treatment that I made the decision to look into if it was possible to design my own styles. I'd run a footwear store within our podiatry clinics for seven years prior to developing FRANKiE4, so had a good handle on footwear. I had heard that there was a shoe manufacturer in Sydney, I called him, told him my ideas and met him the following week. About 10 prototypes later and lots or wear testing, I was signing off on my first two styles to sell in our Podiatry clinics to our patients. My motivation was to develop a range women would feel confident wearing, but also had the qualities a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist would want for their patient to complement their treatment.
Thanks to Elle Gilbert, FRANKiE4 Footwear!
#11 – Mobility
I am just starting out my freelance copywriting, editing and publishing business, Little pink typewriter. I started because I wanted mobility. Have laptop; can travel. It’s a business I can take anywhere. Plus, I’d been doing ‘freebies for friends’ for years, so figured I had a skill set that could translate well into a sole operator lifestyle. It’s early days, but I’m optimistic that my diverse experience in corporate, non-profit and public sectors, in different countries, will serve me well!
Thanks to Jeanette Muscat, Little Pink Typewriter!
#12 – Had a Baby
I began my business Body and Balance Fitness and Wellness purely because I had a baby, could not go back to my previous job with a new born but was able to get fit, make money, meet new mums and bubs, while having my child minded in the Gym crèche. I did not believe at the time I would be still doing this 30 years later but another child and growing with my children and my business and having some of the same clients for almost as long and being able to enjoy a life of relative freedom, independence and support my family in a life of health and wellness has been the ultimate. I love what I do. My husband son and daughter all benefit and I am also lucky to live in an area of Sydney where fitness and wellness is priority. I have been able to make a career from this and am now the teacher for the teachers to bring Movement, Mindfulness and Meditation into NSW schools. I write for the Global Healing Exchange and other online magazines and I recently won and award in India at the Women's Economic Forum for my Innovation for Health and Wellness.
Thanks to Jill Healy-Quintard, Body and Balance Fitness and Wellness!
#13 – Holistic Digital Marketing Solution
We founded Digital Visibility Group because we wanted to offer a truly holistic digital marketing solution to our customers. Working alongside many brands across the world gave us insights into the gaps clients had in their strategies that needed to be filled for true success. This opportunity brought a choice, keep working for other people and just dream of one day having an incredible business, or to start executing and make it a reality. Thats what we did and we won't ever look back!
Thanks to Natalie Athanasiadis, Digital Visibility Group!
#14 – Saw the Potential
I started my business as I saw the potential having a business can bring me. I was writing articles online and they got pretty good traction – and I thought to myself, why not try to monetize my website? Also, I wanted to provide a one-stop repository for bloggers to learn the marketing skills they need. There is a lot of noise online but not many credible writers who know what they are actually talking about. Being able to inspire and impact others make every day of my business very fulfilling and exciting.
Thanks to Raelyn Tan!
#15 – Inspire & Empower
I founded Deakin and Blue, a fitness swimwear brand on a mission to inspire and empower the every day woman to swim in style, in June of this year. I founded the business after my own fruitless search for swimwear that was practical for more than just lounging by the pool. When I started swimming for exercise about 18 months ago I realised that the swimwear market was divided into two camps: pretty bikinis that looked great but were useless for any sort of active wear (be it diving, jetskiing, running around the pool after little ones or, dare I say it, swimming) and flimsy, shapeless and androgynous one pieces that offered little to no support, shape, comfort or confidence to the average female. Choosing swimwear should not be a choice bet ween fashion and function, or femininity and athleticism. Research shows that the prospect of putting on a costume deters a lot of women from going for a swim. I want to change that – so whatever your shape or size, you can feel like the best version of yourself on the walk from the changing room to the pool.
Thanks to Rosie Cook, Deakin and Blue!
#16 – Freedom
Freedom. I started my business for total freedom to fully create the life I desire. As a coach and mentor, I set my own hours, I create my own products and packages, I can decide where and when I work, and ultimately how much I earn and give to the world. I can work from anywhere with a strong Wifi signal. I can travel and participate in the world as I wish. I love that I am able to inspire others to follow their dreams simply by how I am choosing to live mine.
Thanks to Tory Marsh!
#17 – Very Clear Goal
LDR Ventures was formed with a very clear goal, to help early stage companies and entrepreneurs of all genders, races and places to succeed. We had the firsthand experience and relationships to build a community of global executives, investors, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs who could channel their expertise in fashion, technology and consumer lifestyle brands to effect systemic change, accelerate speed to market and democratize access to capital and experienced mentors for all. We saw a tremendous lack of diversity and inclusion in the venture capital world and are in a position to help level the playing field with our knowledge capital, financial capital and resources, which entrepreneurs need. Our team spends several hours a day providing experience and advice, making connections and reviewing business plans from around the world. 70 percent of our investments and mentoring is done with women and minorities. With recent press in the media regarding mistreatment of women and minorities by VCs, we realize that our reason for being is more important then ever.
Thanks to Drew Koven, LDR Ventures!
#18 – To Give Others Opportunities
I started my company when I was 16 years old after I graduated through a program called The Young Entrepreneurs Academy. While I was still in in high school, I had the privilege to intern at many locally well known businesses. While I interned at these businesses, I was usually the first high school student to intern at these companies. I wanted to create my own company, Charles Connections because I wanted to give other students the opportunity to work in a professional environment and explore the real world of social media, public relations and design. Currently I have 3 student freelancers specializing in website design/development, graphic design and social media. Charles Connections is the first teen owned Digital Marketing and Public Relations firm located in the Central Valley.
Thanks to Charles Harris, Charles Connections
#19 – Strong Demand
Whilst volunteering with CoderDojo I could see that there was a strong demand for children’s coding classes. CoderDojo is a non-profit and is run by volunteers. It is doing fantastic work in this space. However, there are limits to volunteer work. It is difficult to scale fast and invest into product development. Free does not mean accessible or better. What if there was revenue to fund scaling and product development? We could deliver a better product to more customers faster. But, who am I? What could I do about it? This was someone else’s opportunity, not mine. I was only a volunteer with CoderDojo, what did I know about this space? So I threw that idea out of the window and continued with my year of exploration. Later in the year I was talking to a girlfriend about the possibility of running children’s coding classes. Suddenly, it clicked in my mind. Why not me? I had been volunteering at CoderDojo for a year now, I had some experience. I had previously spent two years in Germany running after-school and school holiday programs for school students. I was already working at a startup, learning about marketing and PR. So I decided to go for it. January 2016 I started cold calling schools.Term 1, 2016 started with two schools on board. Now, 15 months later we are operating in 20 schools with a team of 22 tutors. We are working with a dozen partner organisations including non-profits and government agencies. We are now spreading our reach beyond South East Queensland and heading into regional Queensland including Indigenous communities. Teachers from other countries are accessing our teacher PD products. I was interviewed by 612 ABC Radio Brisbane, I have won a number of awards including Advance Queensland’s Community Digital Champion, 40 under 40: Top Young Entrepreneurs Brisbane, and shortlisted as a What’s on 4 Kids Award Finalist.
Thanks to Emily de la Pena, Coding Kids!
#20 – I always Wanted It
I started my business because it's something that I always wanted. I really like the uncertainty of it (both positive and negative) and that fact the final responsibility of success or failure falls on me. I see myself as the mechanic of a very large machine. I need to make sure it has everything required to run at its best. It will need parts replaced and upgraded from time to time and it will – if I've done my job well – one day run all by itself. Building and maintaining this machine is what I enjoy most.
Thanks to Dean Van Es, Fast Cover Travel Insurance!
#22 – ADD & Stubbornness
I've never been officially diagnosed with attention deficit disorder but I can never seem to do just one thing for too long. I get bored of repetitive tasks so I knew a corporate gig wasn't going to fare too well for long for me. I always liked creating things and solving problems and knew that entrepreneurship was my thing. It took a few false starts to finally create a business that I'm working on now. There are always 10 things to juggle, a lot of learning, figuring things out and a lot of tenacity to get there. I've been self-taught on a few subjects so this was right up my alley. I'm also not one to shy away from a challenge. In fact, if someone were to say it's hard or near impossible, it would make me want to do it even more.Of course, there are other reasons to starting a business such as making an impact on the growing obesity epidemic in Australia by making nutritious food more convenient and accessible.
Thanks to Harshit Sekhon, Feastively!
#23 – Destined for More
Ever found yourself floating by in a normal 9-5 job wondering if you were destined for more? We did. And it was that feeling that lead us to turn our passion into our dream. We are Lauren Davie & Elena Andoniou, the founders of Those Girls Beverage Co. We were sitting at our desks in our everyday jobs when we decided we should try selling our iced tea concoctions to Melbourne. It started with one small event, which lead to one big event, then 10 big events etc. Until eventually we ended up with a beverage company, a Shark from Channel 10's Shark Tank and huge opportunity to create our own future.
Thanks to Lauren Davie & Elena Andoniou, Those Girls Beverage Co.!
#24 – Gap in the Market
We started Comms Hub because we saw a gap in the agency market. There's plenty of agencies supporting big business but very few exist to support micro to small businesses. We saw an opportunity to launch a start-up that would work exclusively with small businesses to help them grow online. We're really passionate about this because all businesses should benefit from expert digital support.
Thanks to Amy Chandler, Comms Hub!
#25 – Unrepresented & Uninspired
My name is Tara Baker and I am the founder of Dancing With Her, Australia's only same-sex wedding publication dedicated to celebrating women in love.When my partner, Arlia, and I became an engaged couple, we went to source wedding planning inspiration. What we were presented with was an overrepresentation of heteronormative wedding media. We were left feeling unrepresented and uninspired. I saw a gap in the market, although same-sex marriage isn't legal in all countries across the world, women are marrying other women, everywhere. I sat on the idea of creating an Instagram that could display wedding inspiration. It started to take over all my thoughts, so, I decided to open up a page, named it ‘Dancing With Her' and it very quickly gained momentum. Dancing With Her solves a community problem. It strives to celebrate all love as equal and give women who love women a source of inspiration when planning their wedding day. Beyond that, Dancing With Her has an opportunity to influence the entire wedding industry. A strong motivation that all love deserves to be celebrated has seen Dancing With Her thrive into a resource for women who wed other women, across 35 countries.
Thanks to Tara Baker, Dancing with Her!