Presentation of the EYE programme at the Student Projects Week in Mons

On March 26, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg took part in the Student Projects Week organized in Mons by Yump (a program set up by La Maison de  l´Entreprise for student-entrepreneurs).

The event was directed at students, professionals and entrepreneurs living in Belgium and was attended by many students interested in entrepreneurship as well as by teachers and entrepreneurs eager to advise those students and to share their different experiences with all the attendees.

The Chamber presented the programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs to the participants students as an opportunity to launch their business idea while doing an exchange in one European country with an experienced entrepreneur. They were also informed about the EYE Global initiative that enables new entrepreneurs to do en exchange in three different countries outside Europe; Singapore, the United States and Israel.

The Chamber reinforces its collaboration with Belgian universities to promote the EYE programme

Last 21st March, the Chamber presented the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme at the University of Antwerp. Around 15 students learned more about this EU funded programme exchange for entrepreneurs and about the main activities and programme of the Chamber.

The participants had also the opportunity to present their projects and get direct feedback from Soraya Bravo and Arturo Ibáñez, project managers of the Chamber and responsible for the EYE programme.

Besides the University of Antwerp, the Chamber is actively collaborating with Mons University and KU Leuven. In particular, the KU Leuven, with the support of the Chamber, has recently launched a call for projects among their student to present their business plans and get the opportunity to participate in the EYE programme. We invite you to follow the link for more information.

10 years of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

Last 18th and 19th of March the Chamber participated in the 23rd Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) Network Meeting organized in Brussels.

In 2019 the EYE programme celebrates its 10th anniversary, and this event was a good opportunity to review the achievements of this ambitious EU initiative searching to promote the exchange of knowledge and experiences among European entrepreneurs.

Since its launch in 2009, the EYE programme has helped to facilitate more than 7.000 collaborations between new and experienced entrepreneurs across the EU, enabling over 14.000 entrepreneurs to benefit from this EU-funded programme.

The Chamber is one of the 194 contact points all around Europe managing the programme and has recently renewed its participation until 2021. The Chamber has been managing this initiative since 2016 and has concluded more than 40 exchanges in these three years.

The Chamber renews its participation in the EYE programme

The past 1st of February, the Chamber renewed for three more years its participation in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme. Since in July 2016 the Chamber closed its first exchange in the framework of the programme, the Chamber has managed a total of 29 exchanges in the last three years, doubling the numbers in each period.

During 2018 a total of 17 exchanges among Europeans entrepreneurs were managed by the Chamber, nine more than in 2017. Among them, 13 were experienced entrepreneurs based in Belgium that hosted other European entrepreneurs. The Chamber also managed the profile of 4 new entrepreneurs, supporting them drafting their business plan and identifying their hosting company.

Now the Chamber has three years ahead were it will manage this EU funded programme with the main objective of continue identifying experienced entrepreneurs based in Belgium that are willing to host other European entrepreneurs and identifying and supporting future entrepreneurs interested in doing an exchange abroad.

Antoine Blondiaux, new entrepreneur through the EYE programme

The young entrepreneur Antoine Blondiaux, new participant in the European programme Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) through the Chamber.

Antoine is an ambitious Belgian entrepreneur who has the objective of launching his project DeliveShip, an innovative online shopping solution for seamen. After working for several multinationals, Antoine decided to start developing his own project motivated by the opportunities offered by this market. The next step is now to validate his business idea with an experienced entrepreneur in the sector.

The host entrepreneur chosen by Antoine to carry out the exchange is Alejandro Madico, owner of the Spanish company Madico&Villaroel, located in the surroundings of the port of Valencia. Madico&Villarroel is a family-owned business specialized in the retail market for maritime travelers with more than 30 years of experience in the sector.

Antoine has now the objective to continue working on his project supported by the experience of Alejandro and benefiting from doing his exchange in Valencia, city with the second most important port of Spain in terms of traffic. On the other hand, this exchange will allow the host entrepreneur to broaden his network in Europe and to get new insights from the new entrepreneur.

The exchange between Antoine and Alejandro will last 2 months. It will be an excellent opportunity for both entrepreneurs to share their experience, move forward with their projects and explore potential collaborations.

Matchmaking event in Brussels for startups and freelancers

On the 28th November the Chamber organized a matchmaking event in Brussels for startups and freelancers, where close to 50 participants had the opportunity to present their projects, network with other entrepreneurs and learn about different initiatives for entrepreneurs such as the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

The event kicked off with a presentation of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme, an EU funded initiative managed by the Chamber that allows new entrepreneurs to carry out a cross-border exchange with experienced entrepreneurs.

Each startup/entrepreneur had the opportunity to pitch in a few minutes their project or idea and what profiles they were looking for in the event. Among the presentations, Pieter Moremans, founder of My Global Dreams and, and host entrepreneur in the EYE programme with the Chamber, showcased his relocation solutions’ startup.

The session followed by a speed networking between freelancers and entrepreneurs. Both profiles had a limited time to explain in detail their projects and explore potential collaborations.

To close the event, all participants were invited to an open networking session to continue exchanging contacts. They were free to talk and discuss with anyone and take the discussion further ahead.

This event was organized in the framework of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.


Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Network Meeting

The past 2nd and 3rd of October the Chamber participated in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Network Meeting, where the different contact points of the programme, the support office and the European Commission had the opportunity to meet for two days to discuss the progress and the future of the programme.

During the meeting, the representatives from the European Commission confirmed the continuity of the programme for the next programming period 2021 – 2027 and their ambition to continue consolidating the programme by increasing the budged.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to continue expanding the programme to other countries. Kosovo has been the last country to join and this year was also launched a pilot project to extend it to Israel, USA and Singapore.

On the second day, a consortium meeting was organized to define the priority lines of actions for the coming year.

My Global Dreams, sharing their entrepreneurial spirit

My Global Dreams, a young Belgian company based in Antwerp, the last company registered with the Chamber to host a new entrepreneur through the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur (EYE) programme.

¿Who is who?

My Global Dreams is a Belgian startup launched 2 years ago by Pieter Morenmans. Self-driven entrepreneur and passionate about his new project, Pieter has designed an online platform oriented to simplify expats life, providing open and transparent information to those who are willing to buy a second home or who are planning their move abroad.

German Martínez, a Spanish journalist with a longstanding experience working for different media, decided to come to Antwerp to work on his business idea and to learn from an experienced entrepreneur the different challenges of launching a company. His ambition is to start his business in content marketing providing advice on subjects such as SEO, SEM, branding or social networks.

Convinced that the EYE programme is a helpful tool for new and experienced entrepreneurs, German is also interested in disseminating all the information about his exchange and for that he has launched the website where he regularly shares his experience and anecdotes with the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

A normal day at the office

During the following months, German will help Pieter with the marketing strategy of My Global Dreams, designing a sound dissemination plan for the website, social media and blog with the final objective of increasing the visibility of the project and the attraction of potential clients and investors.  

In exchange, Pieter will share his experience as project and team manager. Pieter has a striking background as entrepreneur, launching different projects in the past such as “Edible Insects”, an initiative to commercialize insect-based food on the Belgian market. Nowadays, Pieter has 5 colleagues working side by side with him in Antwerp and some other collaborators working remotely.

The months ahead

The exchange between German and Pieter started the 1st of July and they now will have 5 months ahead to build a fruitful relationship. This will be an excellent opportunity for these two ambitious European entrepreneurs to share their experiences in their respective fields, to move forward with their projects and to explore potential collaborations.

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme goes global

In the framework of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme, the European Commission has recently launched EYE Global, an initiative that gives the opportunity to EU-residing entrepreneurs to carry on an exchange with other entrepreneurs based in USA (states of New York and Pennsylvania), Singapore and Israel.

 The New Entrepreneurs´ exchange covers 1-3 months and is partly co-financed by the EU. A lump sum to cover travel costs (800,- EUR for USA and Singapore, and 600,- EUR for Israel), as well as a monthly subsistence allowance of 1000,- EUR is offered by the EU.

The Official Spanish Chamber in Belgium and Luxembourg, as a local contact point for the EYE programme, can provide you with all the information on how to take part in EYE Global. Contact us now if you are an entrepreneur resident in Belgium or Luxembourg and you want to learn from experienced entrepreneurs in USA, Singapore or Israel.

The Chamber presents the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme at TransformaBXL

On the 12th of July, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg presented in Brussels the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme at the coworking space TransformaBXL. This EC initiative, that has been run by the Chamber for 3 years now, has the objective to connect entrepreneurs across Europe and to promote the exchange of experiences among them.

Arturo Ibáñez and Soraya Bravo, project managers of the EYE programme, explained the role of the Chamber in Belgium and Luxembourg and its involvement in European projects.  The presentation continued with the explanation of the main requirements to participate in the programme as New Entrepreneur (NE) and Host Entrepreneur (HE) and the description of the support given by the Chamber to take part in the programme and carry out an exchange.

During this information session, we had the opportunity to present a success story. We invited our host entrepreneur, Chema Cruz, who is now hosting a Spanish new entrepreneur, Gloria Llopis, in his company. They both explained how the found out about the programme, how they manage to find each other through the EYE platform and how they agreed on the working plan.

HE and NE showed their satisfaction with the programme and they expressed their willingness to continue collaborating after the exchange.  Gloria and Chema are an excellent example of the synergies that can be created through this EC initiative.