Frequently asked questions

  • Business plan
    • What format should I use for my business plan and who can provide me with a template?
      • Basically, you are free to choose the format you wish. If you face any difficulty in preparing your business plan, the intermediary organisations enlisted here are at your disposal to give you information, advices and template.
    • How can I be sure of the confidential treatment of my business plan which I have to submit when applying as a new entrepreneur to the programme? Do the intermediary organisations take any responsibility about business plan?
        1. NEs who apply are requested to submit a full business plan which can only be read by the Intermediary Organisation (IO) they have chosen. This business plan should be submitted in a language the IO can understand (in most cases the language of the country of origin of the IO). The IO in question is fully responsible for the confidential treatment of such a business plan and its contents. According to the grant agreement between the Commission and the intermediary organisations the latter "bear sole liability vis--vis third parties, including for damage of any kind sustained by them while the action is being carried out". The Commission can not be held liable in the event of a claim under the agreement.
        2. New entrepreneurs (NEs) who apply are also requested to submit a summary of their business plan in English. This summary can be read by all accepted users of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs IT tool. As such applying NEs are invited to formulate the summary in a way that avoids misuse and potential damage to them.
        3. Before NEs submit their full business plan to the Intermediary Organisation they have chosen, they are advised to ask the IO in question prior to such submission for signing a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or any other kind of confidentiality agreement they consider to be useful. Such an agreement would create a confidential relationship between NE and IO and protect any type of confidential and proprietary information or trade secret.
  • Eligibility of Host Entrepreneur
    • What is the exact definition of a Host Entrepreneur?
      • A Host Entrepreneur should be an experienced entrepreneur (at least more than 3 years of activity) owning a micro or small and medium-sized enterprise in one of the 27 EU countries or directly involved in entrepreneurship at SME board level. The business can be in any sector. The Host Entrepreneur must have the ambition to share his/her entrepreneurial experience and gain from the contribution to be made to his/her business by a New Entrepreneur from another country. The Host Entrepreneur is committed to making a contribution towards the development of the New Entrepreneurs entrepreneurial skills.
    • Is there a minimum or maximum age to participate in the programme?
      • Erasmus for young entrepreneurs does not have a minimum or maximum age that the participating NE or HE have to observe. However from the definition of the new entrepreneur and the host entrepreneur and the various requirements linked to this definition (in terms of educational background, business experience etc.) it is very unlikely that individuals below the age of 18 can fulfill these requirements. Moreover, people below the age of 18 normally do not have the capacity to sign contracts. It is up to the IOs to evaluate each applicant and come to a conclusion by using the same assessment criteria.
    • Can a Host Entrepreneur from an EU country not covered by the programme participate?
      • If there is no Intermediary Organisation running the programmein in EU country A, interested Host Entrepreneurs from this country can address an Intermediary Organisation in EU country B. The chosen intermediary organisation in EU country B can agree that it is able and willing to take care of the Host Entrepreneur from EU country A, but it is not obliged to do so.
    • Can an interested Host Entrepreneur running a business outside the EU 27 participate in the programme?
      • No, the Host Entrepreneur must run a business within the EU 27 to be able to participate in the programme.
    • Is there a minimum number of years of activity for a Host Entrepreneur?
      • A Host Entrepreneur must be a successful and experienced entrepreneur. Although the years of activity is not specifically mentioned, more than 3 years of activity should be considered as a minimum for an Host Entrepreneur.
    • Is a registered association eligible as a Host Entrepreneur?
      • Host Entrepreneurs participating in the project must own a micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) as defined by the European Union. According to the European definition of an SME, an association is considered as an SME provided that:
        • the association is regularly engaged in an economic activity;
        • the association employs less than 250 persons;
        • the association has either an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro.

        As a result, if an association meets the three above criteria, it is eligible to participate in the programme as Host Entrepreneur.

    • Can an incubator become a Host Entrepreneur?
      • In principle it is not excluded that incubators participate as Host Entrepreneurs. However, they must fulfill all the criteria of the Host Entrepreneur definition.
    • Do you consider an independent professional (e.g. a lawyer) as an entrepreneur and thus eligible for the programme?
      • Yes. According to the European definition of anSME, self-employed persons are in principle considered to be an SME. Provided that the eligible criteria for a Host Entrepreneur are fulfilled, independent professionals can participate in the programme, namely:
        • Be experienced (at least more than 3 years of activity);
        • Prove that they are actually engaging in an activity that will give the NewEntrepreneur the relevant learning opportunities;
        • Run a business within the EU 27.
    • Which Intermediary Organisation do I have to choose?
      • You must choose one of the Intermediary Organisations officially appointed to establish contacts between New Entrepreneurs and Host Entrepreneurs. The Intermediary Organisations should be active in your country or region of origin. The chosen Intermediary Organisation will act as guide and contact throughout the process.
    • How can I find a New Entrepreneur?
      • Accepted applications are centralised in an online catalogue, which will allow the Intermediary Organisations to search for matches. Approved New and experienced Entrepreneurs can also search the programmes database for appropriate partners and make suggestions to their Intermediary Organisation.
    • Can a Host Entrepreneur from Switzerland participate in the programme?
      • Individual New or Host Entrepreneurs from Switzerland can participate in the programme provided that they have started or have the intention to start an enterprise in the EU. However, the current condition for all entrepreneurs, independently of their nationality, is that at the moment of application they are permanent resident in one of the EU countries. If this condition is not fulfilled they can, at this stage, not participate in the programme. This is consistent with chapter 2 of the Users Guide of the current pilot projectwhich states in more general terms: "The general objective of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is to facilitate exchanges of experience, learning and networking for New EU entrepreneurs by means of working with experienced entrepreneurs in other EU countries.
  • Eligibility of New Entrepreneur
    • What is the exact definition of a New Entrepreneur?
      • New Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs who are firmly planning to set up their own business or have already started their business within the last three years. New Entrepreneurs must demonstrate a sound educational and vocational background and a viable business idea. They must be permanent resident in one of the 27 EU Member States and should be able and willing to raise additional funds to cover the costs of the stay that exceed the EUs grant.
    • Is there a minimum or maximum age to participate in the programme?
      • Erasmus for young entrepreneurs does not have a minimum or maximum age that the participating NE or HE have to observe. However from the definition of the new entrepreneur and the host entrepreneur and the various requirements linked to this definition (in terms of educational background, business experience etc.) it is very unlikely that individuals below the age of 18 can fulfill these requirements. Moreover, people below the age of 18 normally do not have the capacity to sign contracts. It is up to the IOs to evaluate each applicant and come to a conclusion by using the same assessment criteria.
    • Is there any limited sector?
      • No, the business can be in any sector.
    • What is a business plan and where can I find a template?
      • A business plan is a document that summarises the operational and financial objectives of ones business and contains the detailed schemes and budgets, which show how to realise the objectives. Your Intermediary Organisations will provide you advice on drawing up a business plan. Please get in contact with your preferred and closest intermediary organisation.
    • Is the business plan mandatory to apply?
      • Yes. The business plan is one of main criterion to participate in the programme and its aim is to evaluate the seriousness of your application. However, the viability of the business plan itself does not need to be assessed it just test your aspirations and willingness to create you own business in near future
    • Can a New Entrepreneur come from a cooperative?
      • Employees of a cooperative may be considered as New Entrepreneurs if they have the firm intention of starting their own business (so-called "would-be entrepreneurs") and fulfill alll the criteria of the New Entrepreneur definition.
    • Can a New Entrepreneur from an EU country not covered by the programme participate?
      • Yes. Interested New Entrepreneurs from all EU countries can participate in the programme. If the New Entrepreneur leaves in acountry with no Intermediary Organisation, he/she can address to one of the 100 Intermediary Organisations located in other countries.
    • Can an interested New Entrepreneur coming from a third country participate in the programme?
      • Interested New Entrepreneurs from third countries can participate in the programme provided that they have started or have the intention to start an enterprise in the EU. The condition is that they are permanent residents in one of the EU countries. If this condition is not fulfilled they can, at this stage, not participate in the programme.
    • Can a member of a family who plan to take over or have already taken over a family enterprise participate in the programme as New Entrepreneur?
      • Yes, a member of a family who has or is about to take over a family enterprise should be accepted without exception. This constitutes an exception to the maximum three-year of the existence of an enterprise.
    • How can I find a Host Entrepreneur?
      • Accepted applications are centralised in an online catalogue, which will allow the Intermediary Organisations to search for matches. Approved New and experienced ntrepreneurs can also search the programmes database for appropriate partners and make suggestions to their Intermediary Organisation.
    • Which Intermediary Organisation do I have to choose?
      • You must choose one of the Intermediary Organisations officially appointed to establish contacts between New Entrepreneurs and Host Entrepreneurs. The Intermediary Organisations should be active in your country or region of origin, but in principle any officially appointed Intermediary Organisation can be choosen.The chosen Intermediary Organisation will act as guide and contact throughout the process.
    • Do you consider an independent professional (e.g. a lawyer) as an entrepreneur and thus eligible for the programme?
      • Yes. According to the EUs SME-Definition, self-employed persons are in principle considered to be an SME. Provided that the eligible criteria for a New Entrepreneur are fulfilled, independent professional can participate in the programme, namely:
        • Firmly planning to start an own business or having started an own business which is in operation for not more than 3 years
        • Having a viable business plan
        • Sound educational and vocational background
        • Vision, commitment, initiative and creativity.
    • Can a New Entrepreneur from Switzerland participate in the programme?
      • Individual New or Host Entrepreneurs from Switzerland can participate in the programme provided that they have started or have the intention to start an enterprise in the EU. However, the current condition for all entrepreneurs, independently of their nationality, is that at the moment of application they are permanent resident in one of the EU countries. If this condition is not fulfilled they can, at this stage, not participate in the programme. This is consistent with chapter 2 of the Users Guide of the current pilot projectwhich states in more general terms(underlined by me): "The general objective of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is to facilitate exchanges of experience, learning and networking for New EU Entrepreneurs by means of working with experienced entrepreneurs in other EU countries.
    • Is it possible that 2 would-be entrepreneurs planning to set up their company participate both in the programme?
      • In principle 2 entrepreneurs who set up their company can participate individually in the programme. However, staying-abroad together at the same time to the same entrepreneur is not really in the spirit (at least at this stage) of the programme. Moreover, the Host Entrepreneur may encounter certain difficulties in dealing in an effective way with two New Entrepreneurs at the same time. Therefore, we doubt that such an approach will be very effective for the two new entrepreneurs. However, there might be cases were such an approach makes sense. But this must be very well justified and, if accepted, is considered to be an exception.
  • Erasmus programme
  • Financial support
    • What is the amount of the grant?
      • The amount of the financial support and related details are subject to an agreement between the New Entrepreneur and the Intermediary Organisation. The list of recommended amounts by the European Commission is here available.
    • What does the financial support given to the New Entrepreneurs cover?
      • The purpose of the financial support to the New Entrepreneurs is to contribute towards travel costs (to and from the country of the stay) and subsistence costs (in particular for accommodation) during the visit.
    • Who grants the financial support to New Entrepreneurs?
      • The financial support is paid by the Intermediary Organisation to which the New Entrepreneurs submitted the original application. The New Entrepreneur must provide the Intermediary Organisation paying the financial support with proof of expenditure of the amount received. If the proven expenditure is lower than the amount of financial support that the New Entrepreneur might have received as an advance payment, the paying Intermediary Organisation is entitled to claim back the excess amount already paid.
    • Is the New Entrepreneur obliged to find additional funds?
      • The financial assistance that the Intermediary Organisation will pay to the New Entrepreneur who embarks on a mobility activity has the function of covering the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs which the New Entrepreneur incurs in the framework of his/her mobility action. Under no circumstances will the European Commission accept an amount beyond the eligibility ceiling of € 1,100 for average monthly financial assistance paid to the New Entrepreneur by the Intermediary Organisation. Where the maximum amount is not enough to cover the direct expenses of the mobility activity (i.e. transport, accommodation, subsistence) or in cases where other indirect costs need to be covered (e.g. company related expenses, insurance, social security etc.), the New Entrepreneur must find other sources to cover such expenses. The Intermediary Organisation has the task of advising the New Entrepreneur on available sources of financial assistance to cover such expenses and facilitating his/her access to such sources. The New Entrepreneur is not obliged to find other financial sources but may cover this from own sources. However, the New Entrepreneurs mobility activity must be financially sound and should not risk failing because of financial shortcomings.
    • Will the Host Entrepreneur receive any reimbursement?
      • The programme does not foresee any European Commission funding to be paid to Host Entrepreneurs.
  • Languages
    • In which language should the CV be submitted?
      • Your CV can be submitted in any language. It is very likely that English is understood by most of the users of the online catalogue gathering all accepted applications and, as a consequence, might be the most appropriate language allowing IOs to do the match-making.
  • Participation
    • Can a New Entrepreneur stay with several Host Entrepreneurs?
      • A New Entrepreneur can only take part in the programme once.
    • Can a Host Entrepreneur receive more than one New Entrepreneur?
      • As a general rule a host entrepreneur cannot receive 2 or more new entrepreneurs at the same time. The reason is that the risk is high that the quality of the NEs stays abroad is undermined and that the mobility fails. An exception to this rule could be made if the 2 NEs come from different countries and different enterprises and have norelationship with each other. Under such circumstances it could be possible that they stay with the same HE at the same time but this has to be carefully considered and well justified by the HE together with the responsible intermediary organisation, in particular to exclude any conflict of interest. However nothing excludes that a host entrepreneur receives more than one new entrepreneur provided that the two ormore NEs stay with the same HE during different time periods ("one after the other"), e.g. one NE July-August, another NE September-October.
    • What is the deadline to apply?
      • The stays abroad shall be organised in 2010-2011 and registrations should be done by December 2010