`It's the only way to be paid decent money'

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The Independent Online
JOHN WOODWARD runs Voyages Orsom, which offers team-building activities and corporate entertaining on his catamaran from its base in Barcelona.

He started his company five years ago to take advantage of his sailing skills and a gap in the market. Before this he ran an English school, the classic route for Britons to earn a living in Spain.

Yorkshire-born Mr Woodward, right, 48, believes part of the reason many more Britons are starting companies now is because it is simply much easier than when he began.

"It was pretty difficult to get started because Spanish gestors (fixers) seem to have had a monopoly on sorting out all official papers for foreigners," he says. "Now things are so much more accessible at the official offices. Also, the time frame is much quicker now. You see adverts offering to register a company in eight hours."

He says more Britons are prepared to take the risk. "They know they will get paid little teaching English so they think the only way to be paid decent money and have a better standard of living is to start their own businesses or work freelance."

He worries whether there will be a backlash against foreigners, but says this is simply the new Europe where it is easier to work abroad.