I got this list from the Kaufmann Foundation. These are all companies that started up during a recession or down stock market.  They’re in alphabetical order.

3M
Adobe Systems
Amgen
Apple
Bath and Body Works
BET
Broadcom
Buffalo Wild Wings
CNN
Chevron
Dave and Buster’s
Disney
Electronic Arts
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Exxon Mobil
FedEx
Gallup
Genentech
General Electric
Genzyme
Guess
Hyatt
IBM
Johnson & Johnson
Kraft
The Learning Company
Lotus Software
Merck
Microsoft
O’Reilly Auto Parts
Pizza Hut
Princeton Review
QuikTrip
Quiznos
Scottrade
Southwest Airlines
United Technologies
Urban Outfitters
Valero
Whole Foods
If you look closely, you’ll see some that started during the Great Depression, some during different recessions that followed. There are several generations of startups here. What I like about this list is that these are companies that lasted. They didn’t fail to start because times were hard. They may have had a harder time getting financing or slower initial sales than they might have had during a boom. But they still started up, and they made it.If you’re trying to start a company today, or struggling with a recent startup, companies are still making it. I posted last week about the Trunk Club dealing with rapid growth despite the crash. The blog startupmeme lists several new startups a week; sometimes several new startups a day.Focus on value: giving people something they want or need and can pay for.

If you can’t get funded, that doesn’t mean you can’t necessarily start that business. Just review your plan, focus it tighter if you have to, and think about bootstrapping.

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