Opening a business and being independent was one of the biggest dreams of my life! I was always passionate about entrepreneurship so I started studying Business Administration (this is where everything started).
I was so passionate about the domain that I aced the results during my whole bachelor’s studies. In the final year, we had a teacher that was teaching part-time while being a business owner. He saw that I was really interested in entrepreneurship and recommended me to go to this programme called “Erasmus for Entrepreneurs”.
I previously had experience with Erasmus because I used the funding to study one semester in Helsinki, Finland and another one in Rome, Italy (both awesome experienced, btw), so I said, yeah!… Why not?
I applied for it and filled all the necessary information, made a business plan and got accepted in the platform. Once I got in, I had to “match” with another entrepreneur that was willing to train me.
I really wanted to go to Finland, because I knew from my previous experience that it is an awesome country (and it really is, you should go visit it) who also has some really smart and creative people. I really wanted to open a Marketing business and I thought that the Finnish ground would be a good training opportunity for me.
I found a Finnish entrepreneur who had a web design and online marketing business that was willing to mentor me. We planned things out and we established a mentorship for a period of two months and a half.
I learned a lot from it because I had access to a person who was already doing what I was doing and it eased my path to entrepreneurship. By the time I finished the programme I was ready to start my own thing… and I did.
After I came back from the programme I started Outcreate Media a company that offers graphic and web design. If it wouldn’t be for Erasmus for Entrepreneurs, probably the business would have been delayed (I don’t know how much), but with the help of the funding, I learned and made an act of “educated courage” to start.
What money have you used during this period?
One question a lot of people have when it comes to using some of these programmes is where do you get the money to live if you work with someone that doesn’t pay you?
Well, that answer is the European Union! Because it wants new entrepreneurs (who hire people and increase employment eventually), EU is willing to invest in you to be a better entrepreneur, so you can contribute later when you’ll have a business. Everybody wins!
You will get a pretty good amount of money to pay for your accommodation and food there, so you can learn how to create a business without the stress of running out of money.
How much is the funding?
It depends on the country you are going in! It can start from 500Euros/month to 1,100Euros. Personally, because I went to Finland, I got 950Euros/month. Not a lot so you’ll be rich (haha), but enough so you can pay for your accommodation, flights and all the necessities while you are there.
Was the programme worth it?
I can definitely say that it is worth it! For example, this website, you are reading this right now, is made by me, the person writing this article. I wanted to contribute back and I started “I Believe in EU” on my expense, because I really believe in Europe and what it has to offer.
I wanted to create a portal for all the European youth so information like this can be found in one place. The knowledge gained in Finland, made me a better web designer and I really hope your experience here, on the site is awesome. We spend a lot of time to make it look good, visually pleasing and to make it useful to you!
Getting back to the question, yes, it is worth it, you should try using these programmes (and btw, you are not forced to open a business after you use the Erasmus for Entrepreneur’s funding). It is all up to you, so go have a nice experience, go visit new places and go learn entrepreneurship because it is the only thing that can really give you freedom and independence.
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We wrote a dedicated article about the funding opportunities for youth! You can find more here.
This article was written by Daniel Croitor
Passionate to help others @ibelieveineu
It all depends on the country you are going to. It can start from 500Euros and it can get up to 1,100Euros per month.
You must be over 18 years old and you should have never opened a business before.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a programme funded with the help of EU that connects wannabe entrepreneurs to the experienced ones and offers opportunities for ‘paid’ mentorship.