Apply for the Erasmus Young Entrepreneur Exchange

Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, OCTA Innovation Lead

Young entrepreneurs in the Caribbean OCTs are being encouraged to apply to be an Erasmus Young Entrepreneur.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a cross-border exchange programme which gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries.
Milan Jezic von Gesseneck of OCTA Innovation said the programme is not only for European-based entrepreneurs and invited Montserrat and other islands within the grouping to participate. He referenced Njeri Carty of Branches of Learning in Anguilla who is currently in Finland to learn more about their education system, said to be the most innovative in the world.
The programme is open to new entrepreneurs who have already begun plans to set up their own business or have recently started one within the last three years. More experienced entrepreneurs, such as Carty, are also eligible. They must own or manage a small or medium-sized enterprise in on of the participating countries.
Montserrat is eligible through it’s relationship with the United Kingdom.
Chair of OCTA Innovation Janice Panton said as the UK/EU relationship post BREXIT March 2019 is unclear, interested business owners should apply now.
The exchange of experience takes place during a stay with the experienced entrepreneur, which helps the new entrepreneur acquire the skills needed to run a small firm. The host benefits from fresh perspectives on his/her business and gets the opportunities to cooperate with foreign partners or learn about new markets.
New entrepreneurs will benefit from on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise in the host country. The goal of the exchange is to help young entrepreneurs to strengthen their new enterprise. It also helps to access to new markets, strengthen international cooperation and potential possibilities for collaboration with business partners abroad.
Montserratians business can also be a host entrepreneur and presents a win-win opportunity for collaboration, gaining expertise that may not be available in their business and opens up new markets or partnerships.
Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” is financed by the European Commission and operates across the Participating Countries with the help of the local contact points, competent in business support (e.g. Chambers of Commerce, start-up centres, incubators etc.). Their activities are coordinated at European level by the Support Office of the Programme.
The programme contributes to travel and subsistence costs during the exchange. The financial support is calculated monthly and is based on the monthly lump sum for the relevant country. This support is provided only for the time spent abroad collaborating with the host.
For more information on Montserrat, contact Angela Estwick at the Cabinet Secretariat at Government of Montserrat.
Download the table of monthly financial assistance paid per country of stay
Please read the programme guide (English) for more information on conditions of participation.

Additional resource: How to Empower and Support Young Entrepreneurs