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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

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.

Since its launch in 2009, the scheme's number of applications from new and host entrepreneurs willing to participate in the programme has constantly increased. Over 19,000 entrepreneurs (new and host) have taken part in more than 9,670 exchanges.

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

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

Who is eligible for the programme

New and host entrepreneurs from EU countries and other participating countries.

New entrepreneurs
Would-be entrepreneurs planning to start their own business based on a substantiated business plan or newly established entrepreneurs with less than three years of experience running a business.

Host entrepreneurs
Successful and experienced entrepreneurs (owner-managers) with at least three years of experience running a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise.

How to take part

New and experienced entrepreneurs who want to take part in the entrepreneurs’ exchange programme may apply via the programme website and choose their preferred local contact point in their respective countries of residence. Your application should include a CV, motivation letter and, in if you’re a new entrepreneur, a business plan. Once accepted, you can search the programme database for an entrepreneur to be matched with. We recommended that you read the registration guide carefully to have all required information at hand before starting the registration process.

The role of the Commission

The European Union partially funds the stay of new entrepreneurs. The European Commission (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs for Enterprise and Industry) and the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) are in charge of the implementation.

EYE Global project

Thanks to extra financial resources, we have temporarily extended the programme to countries beyond Europe through EYE Global. Via EYE Global, new entrepreneurs from EU countries and the UK can also go on exchange with host entrepreneurs from Canada (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec), Israel, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and the USA (NY State and California).

Find out more