Spain's Success

No longer a Latin laggard, the country's economy is fast becoming one of Europe's healthiest

Meta4's name isn't the only clever thing about the seven-year-old software startup. Most of its 550 employees are whiz-kid programmers in their late 20s. Sales at the $23.5 million company doubled last year, and 20% of them are exports. Founder Juan Moran, 39, has banned paper communication at Meta4, insisting on E-mail for speed and efficiency. And he recruits new talent for his fast-growing workforce over the Internet. "In a knowledge-based economy, we can compete very well," says Moran, who has introduced stock options for employees and may take his company public to fund future growth.

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