Tag ‘Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs’
SMEs represent 99% of businesses in Europe and contribute to 60% of European private sector employment, creating 85% of new jobs. Enabling them to benefit even more from the Single Market is a priority for the European Commission. And in this light, it has been already 10 years since the European Union-funded program Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs was launched as an initiative of the European Parliament. As a critical action of the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan, the program aims to reignite entrepreneurial spirit in Europe, support new businesses in crucial phases of their lifecycle and help them to grow.
In essence, 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 in another country.
The two main actors are 1. The New Entrepreneurs (NE), understood both as nascent entrepreneurs, who are firmly planning to start their own business and entrepreneurs who have recently launched their own business with less than three years of operability and 2. The Host Entrepreneurs (HE) or successful and experienced entrepreneurs directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME level with more than 3 years of entrepreneurial experience.
The exchange is facilitated by national Intermediary Organisations (IOs) that have been officially appointed to establish contacts between NEs and HEs and to ensure successful relationships between them. They exist to provide with the perfect match and help both parts with everything related to promotion, information, induction, validation or improvement of applications, arranging contacts, issuing contracts, logistical support, or simple advice and guidance through the process.
Seems like a good deal, right? But if you still need a thought, get convinced by these five additional excellent reasons to boost your business with Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.
1. It brings fresh air to your business
3. It doesn’t entail any extra cost
4. It is flexible
5. It is easy
Read the full original article on Forbes.
Young entrepreneurs, especially those who choose not to enter tertiary education, face real barriers when entering business. Fortunately, there are organisations that can help.
With the limited curriculum that time imposes on most educational systems, those who leave school at 16 and who don’t go on to tertiary education end up entering a world in which they lack business knowledge and experience. They frequently lack saleable skills, and usually have no access to start-up finance. These are very genuine barriers to entering the business world and make this category of young entrepreneur genuinely disadvantaged.
Unfortunately, they seldom attract any attention but they have plenty of potential to be successful business operators, often as self-employed business people or maybe working with a small team. But to become successful they need to obtain the necessary knowledge and skills, find experienced mentors and gain access to finance. In the United Kingdom, the organisation par excellence for helping young (and therefore disadvantaged) entrepreneurs is The Prince’s Trust, set up in 1976 by HRH The Prince of Wales when he left the Royal Navy. Now, some 40 years later and having helped over 825 000 young people in the UK, he recalled that decision saying, “What struck me was that young people weren’t being given the opportunities quickly enough. No one was putting the trust in them that they needed.” In a video on the Trust’s website, he explains his rationale in greater depth. In 2014, The Prince’s Trust International was set up to expand the Trust’s activities overseas.
The Prince is an indefatigable supporter of youth enterprise. “I have always been of the opinion that young people have the skills and energy to make a real difference to our world, and we must do all that we can to harness their talents.” In addition to The Prince’s Trust, he has set up Youth Business International. In each case, the organisation can help young people find and attend the right training courses, obtain the right skills and access the necessary funds.
Similar support can be obtained from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme, which is financed through the EU and operates through local contact points in Member States. So, even though youthful entrepreneurs face many disadvantages, this shouldn’t stop them from developing a business.
More information and a lot of useful ideas can be found at the following organisations:
The European Youth Event (EYE 2014) brought together 5,000 Europeans aged 16-30 to exchange ideas on youth-related issues in Strasbourg, 9-11 May, 2014. It launched the 5th anniversary of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, which celebrated its fifth anniversary at EYE 2014, is a cross-border exchange programme giving new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries.
EYE 2014 participants could choose from 200 activities overall. Under the theme of “Youth Unemployment” six of the workshops provided participants with advice to enable them to take part in practical scenarios.
- Cannot find a job? Create your own! This session encouraged young people to use their entrepreneurial spirit
- Business Challenge, a workshop organised with EuropeUnlimited and EBAN, gave young people the chance to pitch their business idea to business experts and coaches
- A “real life” stories discussion saw entrepreneurs who had changed their career and set up their own business discuss their experiences and the challenges they faced
- A World Café-style collective discussion generated ideas based around the topic: ‘Tell the EU’ and focused on how we can work better together with young people on supporting entrepreneurship
Three winners of the Business Challenge will take active part in the SME Assembly. Enterprises, business organisations, the media, academia, the European Commission as well as national and regional governments will attend the Assembly, which takes place in Naples in October.
A success stories brochure confirms the tangible benefits of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme for startups and growth phase SMEs. By 2020, COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) funding will allow for 10,000 exchanges.