Since its inception in 2009, this pan-European business mobility scheme has opened doors to entrepreneurs, both new and host, hailing from the 27 EU Member States, the UK, and a range of other participating nations, among them Moldova and Ukraine.
As part of the Small Business Act (SBA) for Europe, EYE received EUR 55.3 million in funding through the COSME program in 2014-2020. In the current financial period (2021-2027), it boasts increased funding of EUR 80 million, expanding its capacity to support a greater number of entrepreneurs.
So far, the program has seen over 46,000 applications, with more than 23,000 entrepreneurs participating in over 11,500 exchanges.
In October 2023, the European Commission launched additional project aimed specifically to supporting Ukrainian new entrepreneurs. With the budget of €3 million, the aim of the project is to recruit up to 430 new Ukrainian entrepreneurs and match them with host entrepreneurs across Europe.
Participating in EYE benefits both new and host entrepreneurs. New entrepreneurs gain vital on-the-job training, essential entrepreneurial skills, and hands-on business experience, while host entrepreneurs benefit from fresh perspectives and innovative ideas from motivated newcomers.
New entrepreneurs travel abroad for one to six months, with the option to split exchanges into smaller segments over 12 months. The program eases financial burdens by contributing to travel and living expenses.
A wide array of local contact points, totaling more than 180 across participating countries, support entrepreneurs to participate in the programme. European Commission (Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs for Enterprise and Industry) and the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA), take on the main political and financial responsibility for program implementation.
Entrepreneurs can apply on the website www.erasmus-entrepreneurs.eu without any fee or specific deadline. There are no restrictions on age or sector of work. More information on applications can be found via this link.