'Opening the EYEs of Entrepreneurs' - This is the motto of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme of the European Commission, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and granted at this occasion the Winners of the Entrepreneurs of the Decade (2009 – 2019) award.

EYE is co-financed by the EU’s programme for the Competitiveness of SMEs (COSME) and managed by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME). Only in the last 5 years the EU invested about 57 million Euro in this programme. 

The overall objectives of the EYE programme are to: 

  • Reinforce entrepreneurial attitudes by offering skills, knowledge and experience;
  • increase the number of start-ups and boosts their resilience;
  • foster the cross-border transfer of ideas, knowledge and cooperation between small firms;
  • help small firms to network, innovate, and go international;
  • help to create jobs.

More specifically, the EYE programme helps new and aspiring entrepreneurs acquire the skills they need to launch and grow small business by working with an experienced entrepreneur (the host entrepreneur) who runs a small business in another country. The exchange can last up to six months. The stay of the entrepreneur is partially funded by the European Union. By 2020, funding under the COSME programme will have supported a total of 10,000 exchanges.

Source: European Commission

The use of the programme can contribute to enrich regional entrepreneurship policies.

Find more information and opportunities to apply on the website of the European Commission and the Erasmus Entrepreneurs website.