21/04/2011

Irish Start-Ups 'Match Up' With European Hosts

Ireland has now joined 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, launched yesterday in Ireland, 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.

Launching the recruitment drive for the Enterprise Exchange Programme at the European Parliament Information Office Minister for Small Business, John Perry T.D., said: “It is a logical step to point our growth oriented entrepreneurs towards the Internal Market of the European Union.”

He added: "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."

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.

(BMcN/GK)

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