Brussels, 12 October 2012
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs has supported more than 2600 entrepreneurs
On the eve of the upcoming SME Week from 15 to 21 October, the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme has reached an important milestone: the Programme has supported more than 2600 entrepreneurs as more than 1300 exchanges between new and established entrepreneurs have been organised to date. At a ceremony in Brussels last night, entrepreneurs and the local contact points (intermediary organisations) were rewarded for their active and successful contributions to the Programme.
The competition's entries demonstrate that the Programme has gained traction – particularly over the last year – and that it is beneficial for new and host entrepreneurs alike, as well as for the EU economy. Five different award categories were used to evaluate the Best Success Story Video, the Most Successful Post Relationship Cooperation, the Best Business Concept from New Entrepreneurs, the Best Performing Host Entrepreneur as well as the Best Performing Intermediary Organisation.
European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, underlined: “The internationalisation of the EU's SMEs needs to be improved, given that relatively few SMEs export their goods and services either within or outside the EU. Both host and new entrepreneurs benefit from the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs scheme through enhancing their market access and identifying potential partners in other EU countries.”
Winners of the Erasmus Entrepreneurship Awards 2012
For Best Success Story Video
For Most Successful Post Relationship Cooperation
For Best Business Concept
For Best Host Entrepreneur:
For Best Performing Intermediary Organisation:
About the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme
Since 2009 an entrepreneur intending to start a company or having just done so can get first-hand coaching from an experienced entrepreneur from another country, by working alongside him for one to six months. The “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” scheme facilitates networking between entrepreneurs by building upon cross-border knowledge and experience within the EU.
Statistics show that 93% of new entrepreneurs and 86% of host entrepreneurs who have participated in the Programme report that the exchange contributes to the development of their business. 84% of host entrepreneurs would be happy to host another new entrepreneur. Many exchanges result in long-term cooperation between the two entrepreneurs, as well as in the internationalisation of their businesses. Also, the programme does not only contribute to the creation of new businesses, but makes them more robust and sustainable.
The Programme was launched by the European Commission as a pilot project. As it achieved positive results, the Commission has since included it in the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and it is envisaged to continue under the umbrella of the Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs (COSME).
European SME Week 2012 – More women entrepreneurs to create growth and jobs
The European SME Week 2012 is designed to promote and support women entrepreneurs. The week aims to:
provide information on what the EU and national, regional and local authorities are offering as support to micro, small and medium-sized businesses;
promote entrepreneurship so that more people, and in particular younger ones, seriously consider becoming an entrepreneur as a career option;
give recognition to entrepreneurs for their contribution to Europe's welfare, jobs, innovation and competitiveness.
The European SME Week 2012 Summit will take place in Brussels on 17 October. The theme of the conference will be "Women's Entrepreneurship".