She lost everything as a child and again after the GFC — but it took just five years for this young Aussie to become a massive success.

Aussie entrepreneur Diem Fuggersberger has overcome setbacks that most of us couldn't even begin to comprehend.

Her family fled troubled Vietnam when she was just seven years old after they lost their home to the communists in 1979, making the perilous journey to Indonesia in a cramped boat, said news.com.au.

"There was no such thing as your own cabin or toilet so we had to share with 504 people," she said. "There was only crackers and snacks and water on the boat, not real meals, because the boat was too small.

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"We had to make sure we made it to shore before we starved or ran out of water.

"Our boat was intercepted by pirates who took our belongings. I remember they wanted to throw one passenger overboard because he had gold teeth, so they wanted to take them.

"They nearly raped my cousins and a few hours later the boat nearly capsized during a very big storm."

Thankfully, the boat made it to an Indonesian island, where the family remained in a refugee camp for 15 long months.

"We were sharing a house with five other families, with just a curtain between us and another family. I witnessed a person commit suicide in the refugee camp, and there was a malaria outbreak so people were dying every single day," Mrs Fuggersberger said.

"But I also found a lot of joy on the island — I was very happy even though we had nothing. "It was a time where I'd play with sticks and stones and be happy."

She migrated to Australia at age eight — with no English, no money and only the clothes on her back.

After relying on the Salvation Army as a child and facing racism and insecurity over her heritage as a teenager, Mrs Fuggersberger left school after Year 10.

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She went on to marry successful businessman Werner Fuggersberger and have two children — but in 2009, disaster struck again.

The couple lost their $27 million business and family home as a result of the global financial crisis, poor management and several clients who wouldn't pay back their debts.

"The first thing that hit me was that I came to Australia to find a better life and I thought, 'oh my God, at 37 years old I have to start from scratch, I'm back to square one'," Mrs Fuggersberger said.

"In a way it was kind of worse [than being a refugee] because I had two kids to look after, I had 20 family members out of work who used to work for our previous business, and I was $900,000 in debt.

"It was a necessity for me to be strong and to overcome it. I prayed a lot and it took five years to get back to normal.

"To be honest, on some days my stomach turned upside down because everything was unknown and I didn't know what was going to happen."

But thanks to the resilience instilled in her in childhood, Mrs Fuggersberger began the process of launching seasoning and food flavouring business Berger Ingredients within weeks of losing everything.

She also founded Coco & Lucas' Kitchen, which creates pre-packaged, healthy food for kids and is sold at Woolworths, and today, the companies are worth millions.

After facing so many challenges in life, Mrs Fuggersberger said she had learnt the importance of kindness and being authentic and honest as well as the value of hard work, determination and joining formal support networks such as Business Chicks.

"Going through that at seven shaped me as a person. At the back of my mind I always wanted to make a difference," she said. "It doesn't matter how successful or old I am, I am always eager to learn and listen."