Erasmus Programs Designed with the Future Generation in Mind

The first thing to mention about the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program, EYE in short, is the mistake hidden in the name. Contrary to what the program name suggests EYE is not aimed at young entrepreneurs but at new entrepreneurs. In other words, your age doesn’t mater, your seniority as entrepreneur does.

That being said, let’s start from the beginning. What is the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme about? The website explains it in the best possible way: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme, which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other countries.

In other words, Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs offers a new or a soon-to-be entrepreneur the possibility to work shoulder to shoulder with an already established entrepreneur in other programme country. The New Entrepreneur benefits from an insight and practical view of how a real business is ran. The Host Entrepreneur benefits from fresh perspectives on their business and gets the opportunity to cooperate with foreign partners or learn about new markets. It is a win-win collaboration deal.

Jumping into the practicalities, it is important to mention that the program goes beyond simply bringing together two entrepreneurs from different countries. It also offers a generous financial support to make the exchange possible, by partly covering living expenses of the New Entrepreneur. Great news for those on a tight budget.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is financed by the European Commission. Practical implementation of the program is done with the support of local Intermediate Organisations. Usually entities with experience in the field of business support, such as Chambers of Commerce, or regional developments centres.

When it comes to the duration of the program, the stay abroad ranges between 1 and 6 months, to be completed in an overall time span of twelve months. The stay abroad might be divided into a number of shorter time slots.

The requisites to participate as a New Entrepreneur are mainly connected with having either a solid plan to start a business or a running one for no more than three years. A solid plan will be demonstrate by submitting a viable business plan.  Legal permanent residence in a participant country is another must. The latter is also a requisite for the experienced entrepreneurs willing to act as hosts. For them, more than three years of entrepreneurial experience ideally at SME board level is also an eligibility criteria.

Another common question is related to the countries where the exchange might be done. Currently 27 countries participate in the programme. Namely, all EU member countries plus a number of neighbouring countries.

Is Europe too small for you? Then, you should try the pilot programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Global. It goes a step beyond by offering the possibility of doing the exchanges in countries such as USA, Canada or South Korea.

Are you already thrilled about the programme and eager to unveil all the secrets? If so, the best place to start is the official website of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme. Over there you will also find a database with all the local intermediaty organisations available in your country. They are the starting point for any entrepreneur willing to enroll into the program.

Still unsure if Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a good match for you? Have a look at the success stories section in the website. You will probably find the inspiration you need there. If you are ready to go, fair winds and following seas for your EYE adventure.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs –

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Global –

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