Programme: Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Place: 27 European Union countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden), United Kingdom and the COSME countries: North Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Ukraine and Kosovo*.

Duration: 1 – 6 month, any time

Participating countries: European Union countries

Apply hereapplication form

Organizer: European Commission

Deadline to apply: the programme is on-going, thus applications are accepted continuously

Inquiries about the programme: support@erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu

Costs:

  • the programme is funded by European Commission, thus participants receive a grant of €530-1100 / month (see below for exact amount, which is based on the country)
  • Traveling is also fully funded.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Download programme here: Erasmus+ entrepreneurship Programme Guide – abroadship.org

Click to access Erasmus-entrepreneurship-Programme-Guide-EN-May-2020.pdf

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a project initiated by the EU. It aims to help new entrepreneurs acquire relevant skills for managing a small or medium-sized enterprise by spending time with an experienced entrepreneur in one of the 27 EU Member States, UK and the COSME countries: North Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Turkey, Albania, Serbia, Moldova, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Ukraine and Kosovo*, as well as entrepreneurs from the outermost regions and overseas countries and territories (OCTs) . It contributes to improving their know-how and fosters cross-border transfers of knowledge and experience between entrepreneurs. Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs comes under the Small Business Act for Europe which considers this project a key contribution “to create an environment within which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded”.

This guide is addressed to everyone interested in participating in the programme, in particular:

  • new entrepreneurs (NEs) who want to go abroad and learn from experienced entrepreneurs
  • experienced entrepreneurs (HEs) who -want to collaborate with new entrepreneurs
  • providers of business-related services who support entrepreneurs and the development of entrepreneurship.

How to participate?

New and experienced entrepreneurs who are willing to take part in the entrepreneurs exchange programme should apply via the tool and choose their preferred local contact point. The local contact point should be active in the country of residence of the entrepreneur since it will act as a guide and contact point throughout the process. Entrepreneurs living in one of the few countries where no local contact point is available may register with a contact point located in another European country of their choice.

Please view the list of the local contact points participating in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

Once you have been accepted, you will be able to find all other valid applications in the online catalogue, which enables you and your local contact point to search for suitable matches.

It is recommended that potential candidates read carefully the registration guide (new entrepreneur guide / host entrepreneur guide) to have all required information at hand before starting the registration process.

Step-by-step guide

Main steps to follow to participate in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme
1. Prepare your application documents: CV, motivation and, in addition for the new entrepreneurs, a business plan;
2. Register via the online form (link) and submit your CV and business plan (for new entrepreneurs only);
3. Once accepted, build a relationship with a new or host entrepreneur abroad (two options):
a) You suggest to your local contact point a new or host entrepreneur with whom you are already in contact , or
b) You look for a new or host entrepreneur in the online catalogue with the help of your local contact point.
Note that note that an exchange might not be considered as eligible is if is not in line with the programmes’ eligibility criteria for an exchange.
4. Reach an agreement with your new or host entrepreneur about the work and learning project (i.e. about the dates, objectives and activity plan of the exchange) and submit the details to your local contact point.
It is important to keep in mind that the programme does not support internships or work placements- only entrepreneurial collaborations between to the individual entrepreneurs.
5. Signature of Commitment to Quality: A Commitment to Quality should be digitally signed in the IT Tool by all partners involved in the relationship. As a new entrepreneur, you should equally conclude the financial agreement with your local contact point;
6. Start of the stay abroad: The duration of the exchange may be from 1 to 6 months with the possibility of dividing the stay into weekly slots (providing the time span does not exceed a total of 12 months);
7. The financial assistance to the new entrepreneur will be provided in several payments, according to the agreement signed with his/her local contact point.

New Entrepreneur guide

Click to access NE-registration-guide-abroadship.org_.pdf

Host entrepreneurs guide

Download here: Host Entrepreneur registration guide – abroadship.org

Click to access Host-Entrepreneur-registration-guide-abroadship.org_.pdf

Objectives

The general objective of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is to facilitate exchanges of experience, learning and networking for new entrepreneurs by means of working alongside an experienced entrepreneur in another participating country.

The specific objectives of the programme are:

➢ On-the-job-training for new entrepreneurs in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) elsewhere in a participating country to facilitate a successful start and development of their business ideas

➢ Exchanges of experience and information between entrepreneurs on obstacles and challenges to starting up and developing their businesses

➢ To enhance market access and identification of potential partners for new and established businesses in other EU countries

➢ Networking by building on knowledge and experience from other countries.

Programme

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs provides practical and financial assistance for the new entrepreneur (NE) staying with a host entrepreneur (HE) in another participating country.

The typical activities in realising such exchanges include:
➢ Matching an eligible NE with an appropriate HE

➢ Facilitation of contacts between the NE and HE by the

➢ IOs) active in different countries

➢ Coordination of the activities of the IOs by the Support Office (SO)

➢ Agreement of the parties involved (i.e. the selected NE, the HE and the IOs responsible) on the conditions for the exchange: the commitment

➢ Duration of the stay abroad: 1 – 6 months, with the possibility to divide the stay into slots of a minimum of 1 week spread over a maximum of 12 months.

➢ Assessment and evaluation of the outcomes of the exchange by the IOs responsible.

Reporting about the stays abroad and the information flow to the SO and the European Commission will be managed by the IOs.

The basic structure of the programme is illustrated in the following graph:

 

Erasmus+ entrepreneurship Programme - abroadship.org

Erasmus+ entrepreneurship Programme – abroadship.org

Phases

The process to identify, validate, implement and evaluate the exchanges between new and host entrepreneurs comprises the four following phases:

3.2.1 Application phase

Interested NEs and HEs apply on-line and select an Intermediary Organisation (IO) (see 4.3 below). The IO responsible assesses the application and give feedback to the application about their eligibility/acceptance in the programme.

3.2.2 Matching phase

Once accepted, the NEs and HEs will have access to the online catalogue where they can view all the profiles and start a match. Alternatively, IO can facilitate contacts between the accepted entrepreneurs and propose a match between them.

3.2.3 Contracting and preparation phase

Once the match is accepted by both the NE and the HE, a commitment (activity plan) is prepared with the help of their IOs .This activity plan is an online document which includes the objectives and expectations for the exchange, the business/work/learning plan, tasks, responsibilities, , legal implications is signed all parties (NE, HE, IOs). The NE signs a financial agreement with his/her IO which stipulates the conditions of the financial assistance.

3.2.4 Implementation phase

NEs and HEs complete the stay abroad – in accordance with the objectives set in the commitment – in one or more phases and report on them. The IOs responsible monitor the value of the activity and evaluate the results.

Before travelling abroad, the NEs receive an induction training by their IO.

After the exchange is completed, the NE and the HE complete an online feedback questionnaire to give feedback on their collaboration.

Note that completing the online feedback questionnaire is compulsory. Furthermore, new entrepreneurs can only participate once in the programme.

Activities

Hosting a new entrepreneur will be supported by the programme, provided that all the conditions mentioned before are fulfilled namely that it is based on mutual interest, facilitated by eligible IOs, the entrepreneurs and the matching are eligible, and the necessary agreements between all parties involved have been signed. Any sector of the private economy can participate in the programme. Entrepreneurs participating in the project must come from a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise.2

The stay abroad needs to be completed within an overall time span of twelve months and should total between one month and six months. Within this time span the stay may be divided into a number of shorter time slots (minimum: one week per slot) which the NE actually spends on site at the HE’s enterprise.

Activities of the NE during the stay abroad can for example be:

➢ shadowing and collaborating with the host entrepreneur

➢ market research and developing new business opportunities

➢ project development, innovation and R & D

➢ taking a fresh look at existing business operations

➢ understanding SME finance

➢ branding, sales and marketing of the HE’s company

➢ work on concrete projects from one or more of the above-mentioned areas.

Who can participate?

➢ New Entrepreneurs (NEs)

NEs are defined as entrepreneurs in the early stages. This includes both nascent (i.e. “would-be”) entrepreneurs, who are firmly planning to start their own business based on a viable business plan, and entrepreneurs who have recently started their own business (i.e. been in operation for not more than three years). Whether planned or already existing, the business can be in any sector. NEs should be interested in contributing to the development of the HE’s business and making available their own business skills, as well as gaining useful know-how for their own business. NEs must demonstrate a sound educational and vocational background and a viable business idea. NEs should also demonstrate vision, commitment, initiative and creativity. An NE candidate for the programme should also be able and willing to raise additional funds to cover the costs of the stay that exceed the EU’s grant.

➢ Host Entrepreneurs (HEs)

Host entrepreneurs are successful and experienced entrepreneurs (ideally owners of a micro or small enterprise) or individuals directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME board level with more than 3 years of entrepreneurial experience (not employee), applying the EU definition of micro, small or medium-sized enterprise3. HEs want to share their entrepreneurial experience and to benefit from the concrete contribution which an NE from another country will make to their business. HEs must be committed to work with the NE towards developing his/her entrepreneurial skills and know-how.

Coordinators of the programme

Intermediary Organisations (IOs)

Intermediary organisations have been officially appointed to establish contacts between NEs and HEs. They are involved in promoting entrepreneurship at European, national or sub-national level. IOs are organised in European partnerships, bringing together several partners from the different participation countries. Each partnership cooperates with its counterparts. Their main task is to facilitate successful relationships between NEs and HEs and to offer match-making services (such as promotion, information, induction, validation of applications, arranging contacts, issuing contracts, logistical support, etc.). Every relationship between an NE and an HE needs two IOs – one as the contact IO for the NE and the other as the contact IO for the HE – the NE and HE must also be from different countries.

Full list of Intermediary organisations can be found here.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Support Office (SO)

A Support Office established at European level and cooperating closely with the Commission and the IOs ensures consistency in the work done by the IOs and enhances the pan-European dimension of the mobility scheme.

How to apply?

NEs and HEs must submit their application online. As part of the registration, the NE or HE has to choose one of the IOs active in their country of residence. Ideally, the IOs should be active in the country or region of origin of the NE or HE. The chosen IO will act as guide and contact throughout the process.

The IOs are responsible for assessing the quality of the potential relationship they approve in the programme. NEs will be eligible if they have demonstrated sufficient entrepreneurial skills in the documentation they submit to their IO.

This information, submitted via the online registration form, shall inter alia comprise a CV and give details about relevant skills, experience, education, language knowledge, current sector of activity and motivation to work abroad with an HE, which should be demonstrated by a promising business/work/learning plan linked to a concrete business project.

To be eligible as an HE, experienced and successful entrepreneurs have to demonstrate a strong track record as entrepreneur (not as employee) and prove that they are actually engaging in an activity that will give the NE the relevant learning opportunities. Moreover, an HE has to fulfil requirements of good conduct.4

The registrations will be stored in a database, which will allow accepted HEs and NEs to search for business partners.

Tasks and Responsibilities

New Entrepreneurs (NEs)

The tasks and responsibilities of the NEs are to:

➢ present a business plan for his/her (future) enterprise and develop a work/learning project for their stay abroad, including work on real-life business tasks

➢ sign the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Commitment governing the working relationship between the NE, the HE and the IOs

➢ sign an agreement with the responsible IO specifying the tasks, responsibilities, financial conditions and legal implications of the project within the agreed timetable

➢ act as an “Ambassador” for the programme and contribute to establishing a network of new entrepreneurs.

NEs have to fulfil the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them in the agreement signed by all parties before the start of the stay abroad. Payment of the EU funding will depend on the NE’s delivering the business/work/learning plan and outputs as well as on final acceptance of their activity reports by the IO responsible. NEs must ensure that their working relationship with the HE and the IO is of high quality.

Host Entrepreneurs (HEs)

Together with the NE and the IOs, the HE signs the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Commitment governing the working relationship between the partners involved. The HE must ensure that the learning experience and overall working relationship with the NE and the IOs are of high quality and nourish the entrepreneurial mindset of the NE.

HEs mist acknowledge that an Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs exchange is a true entrepreneurial collaboration with the NE and not merely an internship or work placement.

Intermediary Organisations (IOs)

The role of the IOs is central, particularly in forging the working relationships but also in providing support, ensuring quality and evaluating results. The IOs’ roles and responsibilities include in particular:

IOs are empowered by the programme to decide on the eligibility and suitability of an applicant to participate in the programme and thus whether he/she can be accepted or not.

Vis-à-vis NEs:
➢ acting as a source of information, guidance and assistance to interested applicants

➢ verifying applications in terms of

– qualifications

– entrepreneurial ambitions and business plan

– language skills

➢ seeking specific placements for eligible NEs

➢ providing practical induction to NEs before their departure

➢ ensuring that payments are made to NEs

➢ acting as a local contact for incoming NEs during their stays, assisting them with practicalities, including health, insurance, housing, transport and compliance with national regulations

➢ requesting timely submission of a final activity report

➢ promoting the establishment of a network of participating entrepreneurs.

Vis-à-vis HEs:

➢ acting as a source of information, guidance and assistance to potential HEs, including the organisation of information events and proactive calls for participation

➢ verifying offers from HEs

➢ seeking qualified NEs meeting the specifications for the programme

➢ requesting timely submission of a final report

➢ establishing an HE networks to secure their availability to host NEs.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Support Office (SO)

The IOs’ activities are coordinated by the Support Office that ensure s consistency and quality during implementation of the programme. This Support Office is responsible for ensuring coordination and coherence of the activities. It helps IOs to develop high quality exchanges of entrepreneurs. Its main tasks include marketing and promotion of this initiative, guidance and support to IOs, quality control, development of training material and networking of IOs.

The European Commission (EC) and the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME)

The European Commission bears the overall political and financial responsibility.

EASME manages the grant agreements with the European partnerships (EPs) and makes sure that the necessary funds are available. Its other roles are to raise awareness of the programme, to give guidance, to approve relationships between NEs and HEs, to ensure evaluation and follow-up and to develop and adapt the project into a continuous programme, based on the lessons learned from completed activities during the pilot phase.

Note that there is no legal right to participate in the programme. The European Commission and EASME reserve the right to exclude applicants that are not eligible or not in line with the aims of the programme.

Agreements

The contractual relationship between the NE, the HE and the IOs involved consists of two main elements:

➢ The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Commitment by the four partners (the NE, the HE and the two IOs involved) setting out the principles, objectives, and responsibilities (see Annex);

➢ An agreement between the NE and the IO to which the NE applied (normally in the country permanent residence of the NE), under which funding can be disbursed to the NE. This agreement specifies the tasks, responsibilities, financial conditions and legal implications of the project within the agreed timetable; annexed to this agreement are the detailed business plan, the work/learning project for their stay abroad, the aims and objectives, activities, outputs, and time-schedules.

The IO to which the NE has applied is responsible for disbursing financial support to the NE according to the terms set out in the agreement. The IO to which the HE submitted his or her offer to host an NE is responsible for facilitating the relationship at the location of the stay abroad.

Support

The website www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu provides all the necessary information about the programme. A web-based database linked to the website allows NEs and HEs to submit applications and offers to participate in the programme.

IOs are generally active at national or regional level, supporting NEs and HEs in finding the best matches, facilitating contacts and following the relationships before the stay abroad starts. They offer local assistance to visiting NEs (such as with accommodation, transport, insurance, etc.) during their stay with the HEs. Besides assisting IOs, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Support Office5 publishes frequently asked questions from NEs and HEs on the central website and suggests solutions in the event of problems and conflicts.

Financial support

The purpose of the financial support to the NEs is to contribute towards the travel (to and from the country of the stay) and subsistence costs during the stay abroad. The financial support is paid by the IO to the NE. The amount of the financial support and related details are subject to the financial agreement signed between the NE and the IO, and it is based on the monthly lump sum for the country of the exchange and the actual periods spent abroad with the host entrepreneur.

Table 1 (see page 14) indicates the recommended amounts of monthly financial assistance payable to NEs by the IO responsible for the respective country of the exchange.

Monthly financial assistance paid by IOs to NEs

Country of stay Maximum amount per month while staying in this
Albania 530
Armenia 610
Austria 900
Belgium 830
Bosnia-Herzegovina 560
Bulgaria 560
Croatia 720
Cyprus 780
Czech Republic 610
Denmark 1100
Estonia 670
Finland 950
France 900
Germany 830
Greece 780
Hungary 670
Iceland 900
Ireland 1000
Italy 900
Kosovo* 560
Latvia 610
Lithuania 560
Luxembourg 830
Malta 720
Moldova 530
Montenegro 560
Netherlands 830
North Macedonia 560
Poland 610
Portugal 780
Romania 560
Serbia 560
Slovakia 610
Slovenia 720
Spain 830
Sweden 950
Turkey 750
Ukraine 530
United Kingdom 1000
Outermost Regions and OCTs (entrepreneurs from/to) 1100
Entrepreneurs with disabilities (regardless of the country 1100

The NEs must provide the IO paying the financial support with proof that they travelled to the host’s country and the exchange has taken place (e.g. boarding passes, rent agreement, letter from the host entrepreneur).

Reports

The IOs are responsible for managing the flow of information requested from NEs and HEs. The following reports are required:

➢ an online report from the NE and HE describing the activities/work performed, the skills and knowledge acquired and what the entrepreneurs have learned for the development of his/her own business

These reports will be stored in the web-based database.

The entrepreneurs might also be asked for regular, brief reports from the IOs in order to monitor the progress of the exchange.

How does Brexit impact the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme?

The Withdrawal Agreement foresees that the UK and persons or entities established in the UK remain eligible to participate in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 EU programmes, including Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme.

This means that UK applicants and beneficiaries remain eligible for funding and can continue to take part in grants awarded under the current MFF until their end date, even if that is after the end of the transition period.

This applies to existing grants, ongoing procedures and future calls even if the budgetary and/or legal commitment is made after 31 December 2020 on commitment appropriations under the 2014-2020 MFF.

Difficulties selecting your Intermediary Organisation during the electronic application

You are in the process of completing your registration for the programme and you cannot get through the step “Select your IO” on the last page of the registration form.

Situation 1

You click on the field “Select an IO”, the geomap is displaying correctly but you can see only part of the IOs and not the one you want to select.

The reason for this is that the exchange months you selected at a previous step exceed the period during which the respective IO will be visible to the public. You have to contact your IO and ask for the “activity end date” of their organisation and fill in the availability period with months until the one specified by your IO.

Situation 2

The geomap is shown and you see only numbers which are not located in the geographical area where you were expecting to see that organisation.

You need to zoom out all numbers and navigate on the page with the help of the arrows until you find the Intermediary Organisation you wanted to choose.

What is the definition of permanent residence?

‘Permanent residence’ is defined as:

–The place where the company of the applicant is registered, if the applicant has a registered company;

–If a company has several establishments in different EU Member States or other participating countries (Albania, Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Iceland, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Moldova, Serbia, Turkey, the UK and Ukraine) the entrepreneur should choose the country where he/she is based;

–The place where the applicant has spent 183 days or more in the course of the last 12 months, if the applicant does not have a registered company.

Note that if the applicant is currently living in a non-participating country, he/she will be considered as ineligible even if he/she fulfills the above rules in general.

In which language should I submit my CV?

Entrepreneurs’ CV can be submitted in any European language. However, English is generally understood by most users of the online IT tool, which may offer more matching opportunities.

How do I find about intermediary organisations?

Entrepreneurs wishing to participate in the programme must choose an intermediary organisation (IO) in the country for which they full the permanent residence criteria. The IO will then act as a guide and contact throughout the application process and exchange.

A complete list of the active intermediary organisations involved in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme is available in the section “Your local contact point”.

There is currently no intermediary organisations in Luxembourg. Entrepreneurs from Luxembourg can choose an intermediary organisation in another participating country.

Is there a minimum age requirement to participate in the programme?

No, there are no age specifications to participate in the programme. However, participants under 18 are not allowed to apply or participate as they do not have the capacity to independently sign contracts and agreements.

How does the selection procedure work?

The selection procedure is as follows:

New and host entrepreneurs complete the online registration form. The entrepreneurs must equally choose an intermediary organisation in their country of residence to submit their application.

The intermediary organisations assess the applications according to the programme assessment criteria and either accept the applications or put them on hold, if further information is needed. Unsuccessful applications will be refused.

Once accepted, entrepreneurs will be able to access the online catalogue to search for a potential business partner, with whom to start an exchange. A User Manual will be available for the accepted entrepreneurs, in order to help them through the matchmaking process.

We recommend entrepreneurs to read the Registration Guides for host and new entrepreneurs and Users’ Guide, which contain all relevant information for the programme.

In which language should I provide my business plan?

Candidates are requested to submit a full business plan and a summary of the business plan.
– Your full business plan will only be read by the intermediary organisation of your choice assessing your application. It should be submitted in an official EU language that your intermediary organisation understands. It may also be reviewed by the European Commission/Support Office as part of a random check to verify that the eligibility criteria have been abided.

– The summary of your business plan should be submitted in the application form in English. Entrepreneurs and their intermediary organisations will be able to access your profile and summary of your business plan on the online database in order to determine whether a potential collaboration might be suitable for you and the host.

How can I be sure of the confidential treatment of my business plan?

Intermediary organisations are responsible for the confidential treatment of business plans. If the business plan contains any information the new entrepreneur wishes to keep confidential, he may want to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or any similar confidentiality agreement with his intermediary organisation.

Is the business plan mandatory to apply or a brief idea of the project is sufficient?

Yes, the business plan is mandatory to participate in the programme as it is an essential part of the application that intermediary organisations evaluate when accepting new entrepreneurs.

The business plan does not need to be extensive but needs to contain relevant elements to demonstrate that the new entrepreneur has invested significant efforts and considerations to set up his/her company.

What is a business plan and where can I find a template?

A business plan is a document that summarises the operational and financial objectives of one’s business, with detailed schemes and budgets to achieve the business start-up.

The programme does not provide a business plan template. New entrepreneurs can choose the format they like and if they encounter any difficulty, they can contact their intermediary organisation for a more information and advice.

The business plan must contain:

A clear and detailed description of the product or services on offer;
A clear and detailed market analysis including a definition and assessment of the target market, a competitor analysis, marketing and sales plane;
A 2 year financial plan, including a break even analysis.