Since its establishment in 1987, the EU student exchange program Erasmus is pretty popular among young people all over Europe. The opportunity to live in another country for a certain amount of time gets taken by more and more young people today. Now, in an extension of the program, young entrepreneurs also get the opportunity to travel abroad and incidentally develop their business knowledge.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange program initiated by the European Union in 2009 giving aspiring entrepreneurs the possibility to learn from more experienced peers. Those hosts are already successfully running their own small businesses in various participating countries and are willing to share their knowledge. It is important for young businessmen today to be familiar with the procedures of the EU Internal Market and understand its benefits when buying and selling products or services across borders. The program is supposed to make these rookies more competitive internationally.
Due to those collaborations, new contractors are able to gain important experiences and necessary skills to establish their own start ups. To take part in the program the applicants only need to have a concrete project or business idea, which is to be reflected in an elaborated business plan. The future company or activity can be in any sector. If the business is already existing, it must be founded within the last three years. There is no age limit for participating in the program, neither for the new entrepreneur nor the host. The residence abroad during the exchange can vary between one and six months and is partly financed by the European Union.
On their website you can find several success stories describing the different projects and their participants’ individual experiences. In the video below Simone Galati from Italy shares his personal story. He spent several months staying with his hosts Maria and Panagiota Vlachou exchanging knowledge about their economic interests.