I worked my way up in an int'l professional svcs firm (not acc/mc), switched to a tiny start-up food/service business, sold up/moved on to self-employed consulting tackling strat and org transformation projects. Am now building own public sector consultancy. Ups and downs along the way; mostly ups and going stronger than ever today.
There is no such thing as easy money. If you want easy and safe, put it in the bank or for a bit more of a thrill, stocks. Or a bit more hands on, do up a house. If you want to start a business, however...
Checklist: a real idea/svc/product (don't mean making money, working for self etc.), a degree of passion to pull you through the weak returns and dark days, some money (nowhere near £250k), the support of good people (my wife is the best - but not available!)... oh and some luck (first client, market forces etc.).
Question: What evidence can you point to in your life that you are an entrepreneur and not just a good/effective manager? These are completely different attitudes, approaches and skill sets. It is rare to cross over.
Question: Why do you want low barriers to entry? They are your best defence against competition and your best indicator that those who are on the other side have become lazy.
Leave an email if you want to know more. Good luck.