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Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
News article4 March 2024Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs1 min read

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme celebrates 15 years of fostering entrepreneurship in Europe

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs turns 15 banner

The Commission is marking the 15th anniversary of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme, a landmark initiative designed to shape the future of entrepreneurship across Europe. This milestone underscores EYE's success in fostering international collaboration, enriching entrepreneurial skills, and driving innovation.

Similarly to what Erasmus+ does in the fields of Education, training, Youth ad Sport, the EYE programme provides new and potential entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity for international exchanges designed to turn innovative ideas into reality. It helps overcome the initial hurdles of starting and running a business while facilitating international growth and the creation of business partnerships. Participants gain invaluable on-the-job training and develop their entrepreneurial skills through a win-win collaboration with an experienced host entrepreneur abroad, lasting from one to six months. The EU offers financial support to help cover travel and subsistence costs, ensuring accessibility.

Experienced host entrepreneurs benefit from fresh perspectives and skills brought by motivated new entrepreneurs. This collaboration opens doors to exploring innovative ideas that can grow their businesses, enabling internationalisation, access to new markets, and the formation of new partnerships, further enhancing their competitive edge.

To date, the programme has created nearly 12 000 business exchanges in over 45 countries. 2023 marked a historic high with over 5 000 applications, demonstrating the programme's resounding success. The EYE programme has a strong approval rating, with 98% of new entrepreneurs recommending it, and 92% of participants maintaining contact after their exchange. Additionally, 20% of host entrepreneurs plan to set up joint business activities with new entrepreneurs.

The European Commission remains committed to enhancing the EYE programme in the future, ensuring it continues to support emerging entrepreneurs and contributes to a resilient and innovative European business ecosystem.

More information

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE)