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Class Of 2012: Young Spaniards Launch Startups

Minube's growth has coincided precisely with Spain's economic decline. It got its start with a â,7/8400,000 loan in 2007 before the crisis hit, but hasn't been able to obtain any credit for expansion since then, so all income has been plowed back into operations and the company ruthlessly keeps costs down. Surviving in an era of austerity is an accomplishment, Jimenez says, and he senses a mindset change among Spaniards toward work after years of bad economic times with no end in sight.

During Spain's boom times, Jimenez recalled, it wasn't uncommon or frowned upon in Spain for workers to quit jobs, and go on unemployment with monthly government payments until they were ready to take on another easy-to-find job. While that's also happened in other countries, Jimenez said the attitude change in Spain has been profound.

"Five years ago, people would go to the beach for six months and then find another job. Now everyone wants to work," he said. "When the comfort zone breaks apart, it changes people. I've never before seen the spirit of change that there is now. I have friends who are leaving big companies so they can experiment."



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Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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