When NEETs set-up a business, most likely this is done with limited means. They just start with what they have, what they are able to do relying on people they know, following intuitively the “bird-in-the-hand” principle. A participation in the programme “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” (EYE) would considerably extend these available means. The programme offers resources and mutual learning opportunities: the young entrepreneur is funded to work with an experienced entrepreneur in another country, who shares knowledge and networks; perhaps a joint project develops. While looking over the shoulder of experienced entrepreneurs, young entrepreneurs are able to work on their own projects, see it from a different perspective, adapt it for a new market and develop helpful connections that might not be available in their closer surrounding. As young entrepreneurs are carefully matched with hosts with joint interests and a joint project or programme is developed in the matching phase, a good host is likely to be like a mentor helping the NEET to grow.
Thus, EYE offers a platform to which a young entrepreneur of one of the 38 participating countries can apply to and thereafter travel to an experienced host entrepreneur of another participating country. The exchange can last between one to six month and all sectors are welcome to participate. The length of the exchange, the activities planned between the entrepreneurs and the specifications (interdisciplinary or same-sector exchanges) depend on the specific needs of each joining entrepreneur.
Every partaking country has several intermediate organisations competent in business support that can be contacted in case of questions regarding the application, matching and exchange processes. The program’s success key is to base the entire process on trust, confidence, and transparency – also towards the Intermediary Organization. For the application, the young entrepreneur needs a recent curriculum vitae as well as his/her business plan which will be assessed by the local intermediate organisation.
During the exchange, the young entrepreneur will be in a mentorship-like relationship with the host entrepreneur sharing experience, supporting ideas with own experiences, maybe opening up local networks and offering a place to work. If both agree, the young entrepreneur gains practical experience in the host entrepreneur’s company (not on an internship basis but at eye-level with regard to the different levels of entrepreneurial experiences) while also working on the own business idea. A win-win for both sides with the goal of international knowledge-transfer and the strengthening of European small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
If you are supporting NEETs that are starting a business, consider the EYE programme as an opportunity to provide them with further means and opportunities.
If you want to have some tips for the application process, please visit: https://youngentrepreneurssucceed.com/space_category/entrepreneurship-training/.