From today [Wednesday], Ireland joins other E.U. countries, such as
Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium by offering an Enterprise
Exchange Programme for new entrepreneurs.
Funded by the E.U. 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
To date, over 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, to be launched in Ireland
today, 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 twenty-three other E.U. 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.
The Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D. is launching the
recruitment drive for the Enterprise Exchange Programme today at the
European Parliament Information Office on Molesworth Street. Speaking just
ahead of the launch, Minister Perry said: “It is a logical step to point
our growth oriented entrepreneurs towards the Internal Market of the
"The Government’s priority is to ensure that the business environment
continues to be supportive of enterprise, encourages economic activity at
local level and promotes export growth by start-up and expanding
enterprises to create jobs in this economy," the Minister added.
Welcoming the initiative, the C.E.O. of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County
Enterprise Board, Michael Johnson said: “By participating in this
European-wide programme, new business start-ups increase their chances of
survival in the early years, gaining experience, skills and know-how from
more experienced business people, who have successfully come through the
There is an initial target of ten exchanges involving new entrepreneurs in
Ireland and ten exchanges involving Irish-based host entrepreneurs over the
coming year. ‘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.
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 at www.dlrceb.ie/eye.