Although pandemic restrictions leave a footprint on all travel plans, entrepreneurs shape their business concepts and business plans! This is a preparation time for lifetime professional adventures and the programme Erasmus for Youth Entrepreneurs cannot be missed out…!

What it is?

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

How does it work?

New entrepreneurs gather and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of 1 to 6 months. The stay is partly financed by the European Commission.

There are 4 phases of applications

  1. Application phase
    Interested New Entrepreneurs (NE) and Host Entrepreneurs (HE) apply online and select an Intermediary Organisation (IO). The IO responsible assesses the application and give feedback to the application about their eligibility/acceptance in the program.
  2. Matching phase
    Once accepted, the NEs and HEs will have access to the online catalog 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. 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, that includes the objectives and expectations for the exchange, the business/work/learning plan, tasks, responsibilities, legal implications document is signed in between all parties (NE, HE, IOs). The NE signs a financial agreement with his/her IO which stipulates the conditions of the financial assistance.
  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.

What are the benefits?

As a new entrepreneur, you will benefit from on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise in another Participating Country. This will ease the successful start of your business or strengthen your new enterprise. You can also benefit from access to new markets, international cooperation and potential possibilities for collaboration with business partners abroad.

As a host entrepreneur, you can benefit from fresh ideas from a motivated new entrepreneur on your business. He/she may have specialised skills or knowledge in an area you do not master, which could also complement yours. Most host entrepreneurs enjoyed the experience so much that they decide to host other new entrepreneurs afterwards.

It is is a win-win collaboration, which facilitates the discovery of new European markets or business partners, different ways of doing business. On the longer-term, more networking and collaboration opportunities may arise, e.g. joint ventures, sub-contracting activities, contractor-supplier relationships, etc.

Find out

To know more about the programme check out the Guidebook and contact your national contact-point here.

Also, do not miss the brightest success stories of the programme!



This publication has been prepared within INDIGISE project. The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of the project coordinator and may not always reflect the views of the European Commission or the National Agency.