What is it?

Young entrepreneurs have the chance to be hosted by small and medium enterprises all over the European Union, with no extra costs – the programme is co-funded by the European Commission through its COSME (Competitiveness of SMEs) programme. It’s the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme, that turns 10 this year.

The programme was created in 2009 and it allows young entrepreneurs to get a cross-border field training, enabling them to spend a period of time at another European small or medium enterprise. The call currently running covers the period 2016-2021 and, in this period alone, over 250 new companies and more than 2,000 jobs were created thanks to the EYE experience. As it’s stated in the call, “Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) play a crucial role in reaching the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy” (here further infrmation about this last initiative).

EYE is a combination of fostering the entrepreneurial activities in the EU and, at the same time, their internationalisation, to exploit every aspect of the Single Market – one of the pillar ot the European Union. SMEs make up for “99% of businesses in Europe and contribute to 60% of European private sector employment, creating 85% of new jobs”, as reported on Forbes. Developing the skills of the young entrepreneurs is then fundamental to improve European economic performance as well, not last in terms of employability.

How to do so?

It works trhough a call for proposal. The main characters are the new and young entrepreneur, the hosting enterprise and intermediary organisations (IOs), that are selected to manage the programme local level.

What’s the role of such organisations? The call specifies nine main tasks:

  • Promotion of the programme;
  • Enrolment of entrepreneurs;
  • Assessing applications from NEs (new entepreneurs) and HEs (hosting entepreneurs);
  • Building relationships;
  • Management of grants, commitments and financial support to new entrepreneurs;
  • Preparation of the exchange;
  • Follow up of the exchange;
  • Active networking;
  • Reporting.

Further details are available in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Implementation Manual for Intermediary Organisations (Quality Manual).

How much is the budget?

The total budget for the whole programme amounts to 80 million for the years 2016-2020. However, the allocation for each single year depends on the annual budget adopted for that year.

As stated in the call, during the first SGAs (specific agreements) arranged from 1 February 2017 to 31 January 2019, “Financial assistance to new entrepreneurs participating in a mobility action shall take the form of a scale of unit cost of maximum EUR 6.600 per entrepreneur. The maximum grant amount per Specific Agreement resulting from the first consultation for SGAs will be EUR 800.000“.

Speaking of which…

If you’re interested in youth entrepreneuership, have a look at some of the project results available here on the dedicated page.

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