Ireland has officially joined other EU countries, such as Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium by offering an Enterprise Exchange Programme for new entrepreneurs.
‘New’ entrepreneurs can be aged between 18 and 65 and applications are now being sought from early stage entrepreneurs who have been in business for less than three years and from host entrepreneurs, who run more established businesses.
Funded by the EU Commission, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme enables ‘new’ entrepreneurs in Ireland, who are in the early stages of business development, to be matched with experienced entrepreneurs abroad.
To date, more than 530 new entrepreneurs from various European countries have travelled to another European country for up to six months to learn management skills from experienced small business owners who run established businesses.
The same programme, launched in Ireland today (20 April), will also enable new business start-ups from abroad to travel to host entrepreneurs in Ireland, exchanging skills and market knowledge.
So far, the initiative is running in 23 other EU countries, including Italy, Spain and Romania. The Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Enterprise Board is introducing the programme into Ireland for the very first time, with more County and City Enterprise Boards expecting to join as intermediary organisations in the coming year.
There is an initial target of 10 exchanges involving new entrepreneurs in Ireland and 10 exchanges involving Irish-based host entrepreneurs over the coming year.
For qualifying early stage entrepreneurs, the costs of overseas travel and accommodation abroad are to be subsidised for up to six months. Information for Irish-based new entrepreneurs who wish to be matched with host entrepreneurs abroad is available here.