Why So Many Start-Ups Are Moving to Portugal

It sometimes feels as though Europe only discovered Portugal about ten years ago, which was, coincidently, the time at which the country introduced its Golden Visa scheme and triggered a transformational amount of foreign investment. Lisbon has been transformed from a dilapidated capital to one of Europe’s property hot spots and the architectural regeneration has led to cultural and economic regeneration. Based on advanced bookings, the coming year should see Lisbon topping the list as the most visited capital in Europe. Amazon and Google have both established bases in the city, which has become a magnet for tech talent from around the globe. If you are thinking about launching a start-up, here are some good reasons why you should think seriously about moving to Portugal.

Portugal is well connected

Portugal has three international airports, each connected to around 120 European destinations. Public transport within the country is cheap and well run and the road system is largely congestion free and well maintained.

Lisbon is a great place to live

The country’s seaside capital is one of the most vibrant and exciting capitals in Europe and is just over an hour away from some of the best beaches in the world. The city enjoys around 300 days of sunshine a year and its cafes and restaurants are stocked with outstanding local produce and fine Portuguese wines, so perhaps it’s hardly surprising that Lisbon tops Nomad List’s of best places to live and work in the world. This tech-nomad friendly city is currently home to over 38,000 remote workers.

English is widely spoken

As an English speaker you won’t find any difficulty settling in. Portugal is a country which welcomes foreign visitors and foreign investment, and you’ll find plenty of infrastructure in place to help you find your way socially and financially. 

Portugal is affordable 

Why So Many Start-Ups Are Moving to Portugal

Portugal has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, around 30% lower than that of the U.K. and for businesses, the cost of office space is an area of key savings. The average annual cost of U.K. office space, per square metre, is 1,300 euros, in Portugal that cost drops to just 288 euros. Lisbon has some of the cheapest inner city commercial accommodation in Europe.

A better work/life balance

Good weather makes a lot of difference and Lisbon’s delightful climate gives people the opportunity to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. Portuguese manners are formal and courteous and great importance is placed on personal relationships, all of which makes it a pleasant environment in which to conduct business. 

Lisbon is a SCALE city

SCALE is a start-up cities alliance and Lisbon is in the top five for best performing start-up communities in Europe and is home to 334 thousand companies and 127 co-working spaces. Miguel Gaspar, City Councillor for Economy and Innovation characterises the city’s appeal in the following way: ‘Innovation with heritage, talent with diversity, knowledge with opportunity’. An indication of Lisbon’s importance within the tech world is the fact that it is host to the world’s largest tech conference, ‘The Web Summit’.

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