Over the past 35 years, I've helped start almost a dozen companies, a couple of which are still operating. Back in the late 80s, we had several hundred employees and were one of the largest privately held companies in Orange County.
"We" in this instance refers to a handful of owners who worked together to invest and grow our businesses. But there was also a bigger "we" involved. Some of our earliest clients were public agencies and organizations such as UNC Hospitals. For years, we leased parking spaces from the Town of Chapel Hill. Our relationships with faculty in public universities provided invaluable connections that helped our businesses grow. Reliable public infrastructure - roads, bus service, water and sewer - was indispensable to our success. Clients and customers all around the world, provided the revenues we needed to meet our goals.
Based on my experience, any business owner who claims that he or she "built it alone" is either a liar or an asshole or both.