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Financial opportunities for entrepreneurs

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs helps provide aspiring European entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to start and/or successfully run a small business in Europe. New entrepreneurs gather and exchange knowledge and business ideas with an experienced entrepreneur, with whom they stay and collaborate for a period of 1 to 6 months.The stay is partly financed by the European Commission.



As a new entrepreneur, you will benefit from on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise in another Participating Country. This will ease the successful start of your business or strengthen your new enterprise. You can also benefit from access to new markets, international cooperation and potential possibilities for collaboration with business partners abroad.


As a host entrepreneur, you can benefit from fresh ideas from a motivated new entrepreneur on your business. He may have specialised skills or knowledge in an area you do not master, which could also complement yours. Most host entrepreneurs enjoyed the experience so much that they decide to host other new entrepreneurs afterwards.


It is really a win-win collaboration whereby both of you can also discover new European markets or business partners, different ways of doing business.


On the longer-term, you will benefit from wide networking opportunities, and, possibly, decide to continue your collaboration, possibly as long-term business partners (e.g. joint ventures, sub-contracting activities, contractor-supplier relationships, etc).


EU programmes exist to help micro-finance microcredit and new start-up companies

The strong case for EU intervention in microfinance has led to multiple public programmes providing funding, guarantees and technical support. These include the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Fund, the Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises (JEREMIE programme financed by the Structural Funds), the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and the European Progress Microfinance Facility (Progress Microfinance). 


Other programmes help SMEs include:

- COSME (Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) provides loan guarantees and risk capital for SME funds,

- InnovFin Programme – provides loans and guarantees for innovative businesses and R&D, the ‘SME instrument’ – the ‘SME instrument’

- Creative Europe – provides loans to SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors,

- EaSI (Programme for Employment and Social Innovation) – provides microloans up to EUR 25k to micro-enterprises, vulnerable persons and up to EUR 500k for social enterprises,

- ESI funds (European Structural and Investment Funds) – provides loans, guarantees, equity financing or grants to businesses

- The European Investment Bank, whose initiatives include the Helenos investment fund, launched last week by promoters Adie International and Crédit Coopératif and others to help start-up microfinance providers with no access to classical sources of funding.

Once you’ve read the text on the topic, it’s time to test your knowledge.

Solve the following practice exercises!

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