Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CEBAn Enterprise Exchange Programme "with a difference" is being launched in Dublin next week for the first time, enabling new Irish entrepreneurs to work abroad with experienced entrepreneurs in other EU countries. Under the EU-wide business support scheme, called the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Programme (EYE), Irish companies can also host new entrepreneurs from abroad for up to six months, gaining market knowledge, fresh ideas and key skills for growth.

Introduced in Ireland by the the Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Enterprise Board, the programme is financed by the European Commission. The initiative is running in twenty-three other E.U. countries, including Italy, Spain and Romania.

The Enterprise Board is starting its recruitment drive next week, inviting interested new entrepreneurs and experienced host entrepreneurs to a launch event on April 20th at the European Parliament Information Office on Dublin's Molesworth Street, with the Minister of State for Small Business, John Perry T.D.

Michael JohnsonAccording to the CEO of the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board, Michael Johnson, the programme jointly benefits new start-ups and well-established companies in Ireland. He said: "This is an enterprise exchange programme 'with a difference.' On the one hand, people who are seriously thinking of setting up their own business in Ireland can be matched with an experienced entrepreneur from another E.U. country, working abroad with them to build up their own management skills, business experience and market knowledge."
He continued: "On the other hand, established SMEs in Ireland can act as 'host entrepreneurs' for new start-up companies abroad, developing new commercial relations and potentially accessing new markets."

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Enterprise Board has an initial target of ten exchanges involving new entrepreneurs in Ireland and ten exchanges involving Irish-based host entrepreneurs over the coming year. The scheme is open to all business sectors across the country and, despite what its title suggests, is not restricted to younger entrepreneurs.

Costs of overseas travel and accommodation abroad are to be subsidised for qualifying entrepreneurs, as new entrepreneurs will be paid a 'cost of living' allowance for the duration of their exchange. Information for Irish-based new entrepreneurs who wish to be matched with host entrepreneurs abroad is available at www.dlrceb.ie/eye.


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