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Irish Start-Ups ‘Match Up’ with European Hosts

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

entrepreneurs abroad.

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

European Union.”

"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

start-up phase.”

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