To my mind $500 is just way under-capitalised.
Following the orthodox rule of risking no more than 2% per trade is nigh on impossible when that only amounts to $10.
However, $5,000 is neither a huge risk, nor an insignificant amount to trade with, as long as you are disciplined. 2% now would obviously be $100, and most forms of access to the market will permit this level of risk.
Even if you only have a mediocre strategy and end up taking larger risks and gaining smaller profits per trade than your plan dictates, this account can still grow significantly and it won't take a lot of time if you compound your gains in to the next trade.
Try it with a calculator.
Say your strategy gives only a 60% win rate, surely about the minimum that's acceptable. You take 1 trade per day and aim for a max 2% loss or a fixed 4% gain. This would give you a risk:reward of 1:2. However, let's say you haven't allowed sufficiently for spreads etc. so your net risk goes up to -2.5%, while your net gain goes down to +3.5%.
After 100 trades, which would take about 6 months, you've got $14k. After another 100 trades, let's say a year's trading, you've got $40k.
The only thing needed, apart from a strategy of course, is discipline.