Have you ever heard of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program? If you have a business idea that you’d like to pursue but are new to the world of entrepreneurship, you might find this interesting. Keep reading to learn more about this Erasmus grant.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs: What Is It
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) is an EU funded program that allows young entrepreneurs to benefit from training in a small or medium-sized company run by a more experienced entrepreneur (at least 3 years in business). It’s a win-win cooperation. The new entrepreneur (NE) gains first-hand knowledge of how to run a business from working hand-in-hand with the experienced entrepreneur. The host entrepreneur (HE), in turn, gets free help, since the NE’s salary is fully covered by the Erasmus grant.
The internship can last between 1 and 6 months. The financial support varies from country to country according to their cost of living. You can check the monthly financial assistance per country of stay here.
And just like with any other Erasmus program, the idea is to promote mobility of citizens between European countries. It gives the NE a great opportunity to immerse in a new culture and, why not, even learn a new language!
Who can participate as a New Entrepreneur
There are only two requirements that you must meet to be able to apply for an EYE grant:
- Be a permanent resident of one of the countries that participate in the program (most European countries);
- and have a business idea that you’d like to get off the ground, or have set up your own company in the last 3 years.
Your business can be in any industry. In fact, the Host Entrepreneurs registered in the platform come from all backgrounds and you’ll be sure to find a good fit.
Last but not least, there is no age limit to file an application. Yes, the name of the program – Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs – can be misleading. But the term ‘young’ here means that you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship.
How to apply for the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs program: step-by-step guide
Step 1: Choosing an Intermediary Organisation
Already made up your mind about participating in the program? Great! Then the first step is to get in touch with an Intermediary Organisation (NIO) from your country of origin. Your NIO will act as your main contact point and will make sure that your application meets all the requirements. The internship contract is signed with the NIO directly, and they’re also in charge of your monthly installments.
To check what organisations operate in your home country, you can click on this link. Just select your country and you’ll get access to the full list of NIOs that participate in the program. All you need to do is pick one and email them!
They will explain how to move forward with the application. But if you’re curious and want to learn a bit more about how it works, just keep reading! We’ll elaborate on every step of the process!
Step 2: Registering on the platform
Next up is creating a profile on the EYE platform. This is a fairly easy and quick step, where you’ll be asked about your personal data and you’ll have to select the NIO you’ve decided to work with.
Step 3: Submitting your Business Plan
Even though this is the third step in the process, we recommend you have your Business Plan ready by the time you start your application. This will help you move through the process much quicker.
This is usually the part that scares most people – but don’t panic! It looks harder than it actually is. Don’t let this step drive you crazy. Your business plan doesn’t need to be perfect, nor contain an extremely detailed financial forecast. As long as what you suggest makes sense, you should be good to go. And if you still feel that writing your Business Plan is an uphill battle, you can always ask your NIO for advice and they’ll be happy to help.
Once your Business Plan is ready, you’ll need to upload it to the platform. Your NIO will review it and, assuming everything looks alright, they will approve it and you can move on to the next step.
Step 4: Picking your Host Entrepreneur
You’re almost there! As soon as your Business Plan is approved, you’ll get access to a database with all the entrepreneurs that are registered in the platform as hosts. You’ll be able to check who they are, what their company does, where they’re based, etc. You can also filter them by country, industry and languages spoken, among other criteria.
When you find someone that you like, all you need to do is contact them. Tell them a bit about yourself and your business project, and explain why you’re interested in cooperating with them. If you message more than one HE, you will most likely get a positive response from all of them (remember you’ll be working for them for free). So now it’s up to you to pick the one that looks like the perfect match!
And here’s a little insider tip – even though you can message them directly via the platform, we recommend you copy and paste their email address and just send them an email. The reason why is because if you message more than one person via the platform and one of them accepts your application, all the other requests get cancelled automatically and you lose access to the HE database. Therefore, you could be missing the opportunity to pair up with the one you like the most.
Once you find your perfect match, just let your NIO know. To make it official, both yourself and your HE will have to accept the cooperation on the platform.
Step 5: Filling out the Commitment Plan
The Commitment Plan is the official document where both the NE and the HE agree on the goals of the cooperation. You’ll need to define the tasks that will be carried out by the NE, and how the HE will help the NE reach those goals.
Your NIO will review the document when it’s ready and will submit it to the platform upon approval. All parties will be required to sign it (the NE, the HE, your NIO, and the HIO, the Host Entrepreneur’s Intermediary Organisation).
Step 6: Signing the Agreement for Financial Support
This is the last step before you can officially start your internship! Your NIO will send you the Agreement for Financial Support, which you will have to sign. It will include information on the length of the internship, the monthly stipend for your exchange, and the payment arrangements, among other things.
Other things to keep in mind
As you can see, the application process can be long and tedious. Don’t be surprised if it takes you several months to have everything settled. That’s why we recommend you start the process as soon as possible.
Another thing worth mentioning is that you don’t need to limit your search for a HE to the available options on the platform. If you know someone you’d like to work with, feel free to email them and ask for cooperation. As long as there’s mutual interest and he/she meets the requirements to be a Host Entrepreneur, you’re good to go. They would also need to register on the platform as Host Entrepreneurs, though.
EYE interns at Locus Workspace
Locus Workspace has hosted several young entrepreneurs in the past. During their time at Locus they learnt all the ins and outs of running a small business, which helped them get their ideas off the ground. A couple of examples are Guillaume Avond, from France, who founded GAMA Study (a language studies agency which helps students from all over the world book language courses at reduced prices); and Eva Sanz, from Spain, who combines her job as a Community Manager at Locus with her freelance travel business, Beidoo, planning custom trips to destinations around the world.
So if you’re a new entrepreneur and think that Locus could be of any help in developing your business idea, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email! We’d be more than happy to have you on board!