Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs helps provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and/or successfully run a small business in Europe. New entrepreneurs gather and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of 1 to 6 months.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a project initiated by the EU. It aims at helping new entrepreneurs to acquire relevant skills for managing a small or medium-sized enterprise by spending time in an enterprise in another EU country. It contributes to improving their know-how and fosters cross-border transfers of knowledge and experience between entrepreneurs. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs comes under the Small Business Act for Europe which considers this project a key contribution “to create an environment within which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded”.
The stay is partly financed by the European Commission.
“Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” is financed by the European Commission and operates across the Participating Countries with the help of the local contact points, competent in business support (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, start-up centres, incubators etc.). Their activities are coordinated at European level by the Support Office of the Programme.
The general objective of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is to facilitate exchanges of experience, learning and networking for new EU entrepreneurs by means of working with an experienced entrepreneur in another EU country.
- Potential benefits for new entrepreneurs include the opportunity to:
- Stay up to six months with a successful and experienced entrepreneur in another European country to gain relevant business start-up knowledge in a wide range of areas such as marketing, financial accounting, customer relations, business finance;
- Improve the entrepreneurial experience and chances of success during the business start-up phase;
- Refine business ideas/plan;
- Become members of an international European business network of successful entrepreneurs;
- Gain knowledge about foreign markets and understand the regulatory framework in another European Union country;
- Collaborate and develop cross-border business co-operation;
- Gain insights into different cultural and organizational settings and understand how companies function in the European Union;
- Improve language skills;
- Find out about European commercial law and the single European market, European standardization and European support for SMEs;
- Receive practical and financial assistance such as induction courses before the exchange, logistical and local support during the stay, and a grant covering the travel and subsistence costs during the stay abroad.
- Potential benefits for host entrepreneurs include the opportunity to:
- Work with an energetic and motivated new entrepreneur who will contribute with innovative views, new skills and knowledge to the host entrepreneur’s business;
- Learn about foreign markets, expand business opportunities and engage in cross-border activities;
- Interact with businessmen and women from other European countries and become part of a dynamic European business network of successful entrepreneurs;
- Improve the growth potential of the company by establishing a business partnership with a new entrepreneur from another European country;
- Benefit from the assistance of professional intermediary organisations, which help you to search for a suitable business partner for the exchange;
- Option to use of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs labels and certificate attesting your participation in the programme;
- Increase the visibility and prestige of your business (e.g. via interviews with the media);
- Eligible entrepreneurs are those in the early stages of their business start-up (new entrepreneurs) and experienced owners or managers of a micro or small enterprise (host entrepreneurs).
- The term “new entrepreneur” includes both nascent entrepreneurs, who are firmly planning to start their own company in the coming months, or those who have already set up their own business in the last three years. Whether planned or already existing, the business can be in any sector. New entrepreneurs must demonstrate a sound educational and vocational background and a viable business idea. They must be a permanent resident in one of programme participating countries and should be able and willing to raise additional funds to cover the costs of the stay that exceed the EU’s grant.
- Host entrepreneurs are experienced businessmen or women (i.e. more than three years of entrepreneurial experience, not as employees), ideally owners of a micro or small enterprise (SME) in the European Union or persons directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME board level, abiding by the EU definition of micro, small or medium-sized enterprise. They must be willing to cooperate with the new entrepreneur towards developing his/her entrepreneurial skills and know-how.
- The programme is accessible to all European new and host entrepreneurs who have their permanent residence in one of 28 European Member States, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Kosovo*.
- Entrepreneurs from the EU outermost regions and the Oversears Countries and Territories (OCTs) are also eligible to participate.
- Please note that participation in the programme is not based on nationality but on fulfilling the programme’s eligibility critieria with regards to permanent residence in one of the participating countries.
- Be aware that eligibility criteria must be complied with for the entire duration of the grant. If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU during the grant period without concluding an agreement with the EU, ensuring in particular that UK applicants continue to be eligible, any (a) new entrepreneur coming from the UK, or (b) entrepreneur on an exchange with a UK-based host entrepreneur, will cease to receive EU funding and will be required to leave the project.
- *This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence
- The countries eligible for the programme are currently the 28 european countries plus the plus the Third Countries of the COSME Programme: Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine as well as Iceland.