To start from the very beginning, to build something from nothing
You can use this phrase in ………… language.
Sam is such a successful young man and he did it all by himself! He came from a very poor family and had to start his company from scratch.
Doing business in China means starting from scratch, because thefact that you graduated from a prestigious university is of very little importance here. What matters is who you know and what you can accomplish in China.