Marco Iacuitto is the Managing Director at the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce.
Business Planet spoke to him to find out more about what the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme entails.
What's so unique about Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and how does it help aspiring entrepreneurs?
“Erasmus for young entrepreneurs in my opinion is so unique because since 2009, it contributes to the development of a European entrepreneurial culture.
"Any aspiring entrepreneurs can start a collaboration from one month up to six with experienced entrepreneurs in one of the European countries participating in the programme. They can learn how to run a company. They can understand the business environment of the country. They can receive insights from their mentor on how to expand their network, their client network, and maybe they can also acquire a business partner when the exchange is over.
"In addition, they receive monthly financial support from €500 to €1,100 depending on the country. And they are supported by the intermediary organisation: the organisation active in the business development.”
When you select participants, what are you looking for exactly?
“For new and aspiring entrepreneurs, the quality of the business plan is very important, the business idea or the project they have. But personally, I also think that motivation and commitment play a big role when it comes to the selection of participants.”
Who is eligible to take part in this programme?
"In the programme, we welcome on one side the new or aspiring entrepreneurs - that is to say, candidates who are firmly planning to start their company within three years or who already have a company.
"And on the other side, we have the host entrepreneur - owners or managers of small or medium- sized companies with experience of more than three years in running the company. That's very important for the programme. There's no limitation on age and business sector."
If I'm interested in taking part in the programme, how can I find out more?
"Very simple: you take a look at the website of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs.
"You can find useful information about eligibility, participation, registration and if you do not find all the information you are searching for, please contact an intermediary organisation in your country and you will be guided through the whole procedure of the programme."