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Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border programme facilitating the exchange of entrepreneurial and management experience. The exchange is implemented by a stay of a newly established or potential entrepreneur with a well-experienced entrepreneur running a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) in another country. In the last five years, more than 2,500 pairs of entrepreneurs have benefitted from the programme.

The European Commission’s goal is to organise 10,000 exchanges by 2020. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is implemented through local contact points selected through annual calls for proposals.

Main benefits of the programme

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs aims to boost Europe's entrepreneurial culture. The programme:

  • reinforces entrepreneurial attitudes by offering skills, knowledge and experience
  • increases the number of start-ups and boosts their resilience
  • fosters the cross-border transfer of ideas, knowledge and cooperation between small firms
  • helps small firms to network, innovate, and go international
  • helps to create jobs.

Benefits for participating entrepreneurs

New entrepreneurs:

  • build their capacity to manage a small company
  • gain relevant skills and knowledge
  • get practical experience
  • network.

Hosting entrepreneurs:

  • make use of fresh entrepreneurial attitude
  • obtain knowledge about another market and culture
  • gain international cooperation opportunities
  • get new ideas and fresh perspectives.

Who is eligible for the programme?

  • new entrepreneurs – would-be entrepreneurs with a credible business plan, or people who have already started their business within the last three years
  • no age limit – all ages can participate
  • no topic restrictions - any industry or sector can take part.

How to take part

  1. Entrepreneurs – to learn more about the practical and financial conditions, look at the programme’s website.
  2. Intermediary organisations – if you want to participate in the programme, apply to one of the open calls for proposals.

The role of the Commission

The stay of the entrepreneur is partially funded by the European Union. By 2020, funding under the COSME programme will have supported a total of 10,000 exchanges.

Success stories