Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Celebrating 10 years of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: 14,000 entrepreneurs benefit from the programme

Celebrating 10 years of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: 14,000 entrepreneurs benefit from the programme
Published on: 19/03/2019
To mark the 10th anniversary of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme, two participating entrepreneurs have been awarded the title of 'Entrepreneur of the Decade' at an event that took place yesterday in Brussels. Nelly Davtyan from Armenia was selected as the 'new entrepreneur of the decade' and Ioannis Polychronakis from Greece was selected as the 'host entrepreneur of the decade.'

New entrepreneur of the decade

Nelly Davtyan from Armenia was selected as the EYE “new entrepreneur of the decade”. In 2016, Nelly put together a team of experienced IT developers and founded ‘IT Solutions’, a company for mobile and web-based applications. After her exchange in Malta in 2018, Nelly has managed to turn her small start-up into a sustainable growing IT business with help of the EYE programme and her host entrepreneur. She aspires to encourage more young women from small countries to run their own business and believe in themselves to become successful. 

Host entrepreneur of the decade

In the EYE Host Entrepreneur of the Decade category, the prize went to Ioannis Polychronakis from Greece. Ioannis runs a family business in the design and construction sector, offering customised design/building and consulting services on the island of Crete. The company focuses on the natural preservation, implementing environmentally friendly and environmentally saving house solutions (energy passive houses, green energy solutions, recycling solutions). Since joining the EYE in 2015, Ioannis has hosted five European new entrepreneurs from various countries.

Both winners are among the 14,000 entrepreneurs who have directly benefitted from this EU-funded programme since its launch in 2009. The programme has facilitated over 7,000 entrepreneurial collaborations between new and experienced entrepreneurs from across Europe, helping them to start-up, learn new skills, create new products and services, and expand to new markets.  

The EYE programme facilitates the exchange of entrepreneurial and managerial experiences across Europe and beyond. It matches a newly established or potential entrepreneur with a well-experienced entrepreneur running a small business in another country. The exchange is co-financed by the EU under the COSME programme, Europe’s programme for small and medium-sized enterprises. In the period between 2014-2016, over 250 new companies and more than 2,000 jobs were created thanks to the EYE experience. 

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