For ten years Peter Allen always spent his holidays in Bombarral, with his Portuguese girlfriend, until the day came when they decided to stay longer. “We’d come out on holiday. Then we started coming over more often, and prolonging our stays”, he recalls.
The Portuguese town ended up becoming the perfect place for this British expat to settle down. “We moved to Bombarral because we had a house here and I love the area, the landscape is beautiful, we are close to the sea and we are steeped in history wherever we go”, he explains.
As for the town itself, he sees several upsides. “There is a medieval castle only 10 minutes away, the view is spectacular, and it is very easy to get to Lisbon.”
Investing in start-ups in Portugal
Peter Allen is an entrepreneur, and he has already invested in several start-ups in the fields of design and tech. “I run a company in the United Kingdom called Compelling Ideas, which operates in graphic and digital design, and I thought we could open a branch here”, he says.
And that is how he brought Compelling Ideas over to Portugal. “We ended up opening a branch, but focused on the Portuguese market, especially entrepreneurs, start-ups, and we help them with their logos, all their branding, marketing and websites”, he explains.
After that, taking advantage of the Portuguese ecosystem and existing resources, Peter felt inspired to create his own start-ups. “I started a company called Innovation Scene which lists start-up events.”
Another project was Tripmaka, a tourism start-up for organising trips “that helps tourists discover spots to visit, make reservations, and set up the coolest activity plans while they are on holiday in Portugal.”
A good environment for start-ups in Portugal
While highlighting the good environment in Portugal for the creation and development of start-ups, Peter Allen points to the fact that several favourable factors came together to convince him to settle here. “I think there is a vibrant community and ecosystem here, partly due to Government policy, which has been very proactive in encouraging start-ups. This is very important for the Government, which, to that end, has organised programmes, courses, and other initiatives. There are so many start-up accelerators here”, he says.
Besides that, the country itself has plenty of advantages to offer. “It’s a spectacular country, and the weather is fantastic, we get almost 300 days of sun per year”, he comments, adding that “we have fantastic landscapes, we have the sea, the food”.
When asked to compare Portugal to his native Britain, Peter has little or no doubt. “It’s incredible, there are real differences, such as knowing how to enjoy the best things in life, the wine, just taking advantage of the weather, relaxing. And I have been lucky enough to be learning Portuguese as well”.
Taking all this into account, Peter says he feels happy in Portugal. “I feel that this is where I belong”.