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Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (and a warm Welcome!)

Welcome to our brand new blog, where we will be sharing news and updates from our work in the context of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program and other EU projects.

Our first blog post is dedicated to a brief introduction of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme.

1. ''So what is this EYE program about then?''

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs was initiated by the European Union in 2009 and is essentially a business exchange programme for entrepreneurs. The program was created in order to provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and/or successfully run a small business.

In short, in the context of the particular exhange program New Entrepreneurs from all Europe travel other EU countries with the aim of gaining knowledge and business ideas by collaborating with experienced entrepreneurs.The exchange lasts from 1 to 6 months, and is decided upon by the participating entrepreneurs. It is highly important to remember that the exchange has no financial cost for New or Host Entrepreneurs - it is partly funded by the EU, meaning that the New Entrepreneur receives a monthly amount for daily expenses and accommodation.

2. ''Who can participate in the programme?''

You can participate in the program as a 'New Entrepreneur' or a 'Host Entrepreneur'.

A 'New Entrepreneur' is someone who is planning to start or has recently (during the last 3 years) started their own company. The business can be in any sector of the market. When applying to join the programme, New Entrepreneurs must present a viable business idea in the form of a short business plan.

A 'Host Entrepreneur' is an experienced businessman or businesswoman (with more than three years of entrepreneurial experience). They can be an owner of a micro or small enterprise (SME) in the European Union or someone who is directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME board level. Host Entrepreneurs must be willing to cooperate with new entrepreneurs towards the development of their entrepreneurial skills and know-how.

New and Host Entrepreneurs must be a permanent residents in one of the countries that participate in the programme. The list of eligible countries includes Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, Ukraine and Kosovo.

3. ''Why should I join the programme as a New Entrepreneur?''

As a new entrepreneur, you will benefit from on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise in another EU country. This will prepare you for a succesful start-up or the better management of a business you have already started. You can also benefit from access to new markets, international cooperation and potential possibilities for collaboration with business partners abroad.

4. ''Why should I join the programme as a Host Entrepreneur?''

As a Host Entrepreneur, you can benefit from fresh ideas from a motivated new entrepreneur in your business. They may have specialised skills or knowledge you wish to implement in your work. Throughout our experience as a program contact point in Cyprus, we observed that the majority of host entrepreneurs decide to collaborate with other new entrepreneurs in the future. There are many success stories where we saw New and Host entrepreneurs forming long-term partnerships with outstanding results.

5. ''I am interested in joining the programme. How do I apply?''

If you are interested in joining the programme as a New or Host Entrepreneur, just get in touch with an EYE contact point in your country. Our job as a contact point is to guide applicants through the application process, help New Entrepreneurs with the writing of their business plan and offer support before, during and after the exchange. We can also help match New and Host Entrepreneurs with appropriate partners from other countries using the EYE online platform.

Dekaplus is your contact point in Cyprus.

You can find more information on the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme website

You can read the complete programme guide here