Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: An exchange scheme fostering international ideas between aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs

Submitted by Imogen Allan on 02 June 2021

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) is a pan-European mobility scheme, fostering international exchange of knowledge and ideas between aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs.

New entrepreneurs benefit from on-the-job training in a host company abroad to develop their entrepreneurial skills, and gain knowledge on and experience in managing a small business through direct collaboration with the host entrepreneur. On the other hand, host entrepreneurs benefit from innovative ideas from a motivated new entrepreneur. Moreover, this opportunity also leads to other benefits, such as the internationalisation of the business, access to new markets, and opportunities for collaboration with new business partners.

Since its launch in 2009, the scheme has seen a constant increase in the number of applications from new and host entrepreneurs willing to take part in the programme, with over 19,000 entrepreneurs (new and host) taking part in more than 9,500 exchanges.

Who can participate?

New and host entrepreneurs from EU and other participating countries:

  • New entrepreneurs are defined as would-be entrepreneurs who are firmly planning to start their own business based on a substantiated business plan, or newly established entrepreneurs with less than 3 years of experience in running a business.
  • Host entrepreneurs are defined as successful and experienced entrepreneurs (owner/manager) with at least 3 years of experience in running a micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise.

How does it work?

New entrepreneurs spend time abroad within an EU Member State or participating country, where they collaborate with their host entrepreneur.

The duration of the stay varies from 1 to 6 months. To provide entrepreneurs with more flexibility, the exchange can also be divided into slots of a minimum of 1 week each, spread over a maximum of 12 months.

Financial support is provided by the programme for new entrepreneurs to contribute towards travel (to and from the country of the stay abroad) and subsistence costs.

Who facilitates the programme?

A wide range of intermediary organisations (local contact points) are responsible for facilitation of the exchange between the entrepreneurs.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Global

Since 2018, the programme has also been extended to countries beyond Europe as part of EYE Global.

New entrepreneurs from EU Members States and the UK can, alongside those based in Europe,  select host entrepreneurs for their exchange from Canada (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec), Israel, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the USA (New York State and California).

Watch the promotional video below.

Erasmus for young entrepreneurs logo new.v1
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