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Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

European exchange programme for entrepreneurs


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 European Union countries.

Whether they wish to create a new venture, or expand an existing one to international markets, the programme allows them to spend time with experienced "host" entrepreneurs in another Member State and learn first-hand how to manage a small or medium-sized business (SME). The programme´s specific objectives are to promote on-the-job-training, exchanges of experience and information between partners, and to enhance market access, identification of potential partners and networking.

Entrepreneurs who participate at the program are known as "New Entrepreneurs" and "Host Entrepreneurs". As European Commission announces, the first are "would-be" entrepreneurs, who are definitely planning to start their own business – based on a viable business plan, as well as entrepreneurs who have recently started their own business (less than three years ago).

The host entrepreneurs are successful and experienced entrepreneurs, owner-managers of an SME for more than three years. Both new and host entrepreneurs can come from any sector and must demonstrate motivation and commitment.

During the stay abroad new entrepreneurs perform several activities, such as shadowing a senior host entrepreneur; market research and developing new business opportunities; project development, innovation and R&D; taking a fresh look at existing business operations; understanding SME finance; branding, sales and marketing of the host entrepreneur’s company; and work on concrete projects from one or more of the above mentioned areas.

Statistics and surveys show that 51% of young Europeans would be interested to follow an entrepreneurial route, but too few of them know how to put their ambitions into practice. The internationalisation of European SMEs is insufficient, with only 8% of them exporting their goods and services within the EU.

Of interest