Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs consortium meeting at EASME

On the 4th of July, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg participated in the consortium meeting for the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) programme. 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.

The meeting took place at the premises of the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME). The 9 partners of the consortium attended to the meeting as well as the EU officer managing the EYE programme. The chamber will be running the programme for 3 more years and this was an excellent opportunity to discuss the future strategy of the partners and the priority lines of actions.

The Chamber reaffirmed its intention to consolidate the EYE as a key programme for the organization. The Chamber has considerably increased its number of exchanges; a total of 4 were registered in 2016, 9 in 2017 and 14 during the first 6 months of 2018.

The European Commission (EC) launches EYE global; Singapore, Israel and USA are now new destinations for the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

Last April the EC announced the official start of the EYE Global for the period 2018-2020. Three new destinations, USA (states of New York and Pennsylvania), Singapore and Israel, are now available for EU-residing New Entrepreneurs.

With these new destinations the EC broadens the list of participating countries; as from now candidates will be able to choose among 40 countries. This pilot project aims at offering the new entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn from the experience of other entrepreneurs outside the European continent.

Some of the conditions for participating in the EYE Global differ from the current programme. As a local contact point in Belgium and Luxembourg, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce can guide you through the application process. Contact us now for further information:

Presentation of the Chamber at the University of Antwerp

On March 14th,María Catalán, the Secretary General of the Official Chamber of Commerce of Spain in Belgium and Luxembourg, took part in the conference organized by the University of Antwerp.

The workshop was geared towards economics students. Maria Catalán presented bilateral trade data between Belgium and Spain and the role played by the Chamber for Spanish companies in Belgium.

Additionally, the Secretary General informed the students about the projects that the Chamber develops in relation with employment and entrepreneurship like the outstanding European program Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs, for which the Chamber is a local  point in Belgium and whose objective is to promote the exchange of experiences among entrepreneurs in Europe.

21st Networking Meeting of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

The 6th and 7th of March took place in Brussels the “21st Networking Meeting of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” (EYE), where the different consortiums participating in the programme had the opportunity to learn about the future of the EYE programme and to interact and exchange best practices with different intermediary organisations.

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, as part of the of the programme since 2016, attended to this event. During the first day, different representatives from the European Commission (EC) unveiled future novelties that will be implemented in the programme. On the second day, a consortium meeting was organised to define the priority lines of actions for the coming year.

One of the main novelties announced by the EC is the initiative “EYE Global”, a pilot project that will allow 120 new entrepreneurs to do their exchange in countries such as Israel, Singapore and United States (specifically in the states of Pennsylvania and New York). This pilot project will be launched next May and will be in place for two years.

The other relevant announcement made by the EC representatives was the agreement on the continuity of the programme after 2021.  The EC is already working on the next programming period and the future of the programme has been guaranteed even though some modifications might be included.  The success of this programme after 7 years of implementation and its role in boosting entrepreneurial cooperation across Europe justifies the ambition of the EC to opt for the continuity of the programme.

The Chamber, local contact point for the Erasmus Young Entrepreneurs

During three months, our member Jorge Cisneros, from Swan Consulting SCS, has taken part of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs Program as host entrepreneur for Razvan Rusu, a young entrepreneur who develops his own business idea in Romania, his home country.

The program allows, on one hand, Razvan to learn from a more experienced entrepreneur, and on the other hand, Jorge to count on a person who collaborates with him every day. As an example of their work together, last 16 and 17 of November they organized at the headquarters of the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg, a workshop on EU Funding and Project Management.

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is a free program of transnational exchanges, for which the Chamber is the local contact point in Belgium and Luxembourg.

For any further information:


The Chamber participates in the EYE 19th Network Meeting

Last March 29th and 30th, the EYE Network Meeting took place at the Bloom Hotel in Brussels. The event gathered all entities participating in the EYE program (Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs), funded by the EU and of which the Chamber is a local information spot in Belgium and Luxembourg.

The different workshops and meetings were designed to build relations between the participants, aming to increase the number of exchange programs between entrepreneurs from different European countries.

All of those in charge of a small or medium business can participate in the program, which is free of charge and will count with the support of a young entrepreneur in your business, giving new ideas and increasing the contact network in other countries.

Both young entrepreneurs and potential host entrepreneurs can get more information in this link.

How to mount an art exhibition step by step thanks to Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

The young Spanish entrepreneur Natalia Domínguez and Annie Gentils, the owner of an art gallery in Anterwerp (Belgium), tell us their experiences after working together during three months thanks to an exchange of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneur (EYE) programme


Preparations for an exhibition organised by Annie and Natalia.

Being more realistic is the main thing that Natalia, a 26 years old artist from Spain, has learned from Annie, an experimented entrepreneur who owes her own art gallery in Antwerp (Belgium). By working together in Annie’s gallery during three months, they have learned a lot from each other. Although Natalia had been assisting a gallery in Valencia during last year, her commitment in Belgium was bigger and she acquired more knowledge and experience.

She decided to go to Antwerp because she visited a friend who was working in the art field there and afterwards she started to think to go through a similar experience. “When I came here for the first time I realized this city was big enough but small enough at the same time to handle it without problems”, she says. In fact, it’s easier to get contacts in the art field than in a bigger city. After all, this is a very important culture hub in Belgium. Although she doesn’t speak Dutch -the local language- she didn’t have any problem to communicate in English.

Thanks to the Annie’s background, which began in the 80s, Natalia has learned how to mount an exhibition from the very beginning. Thus, she managed to get in touch with the contacts they needed, dealing with other entities and foundations, organizing all the details for the exhibition… In short, she got on-the-job experience in the art gallery. “It’s stressful because you must have everything planned in order to succeed”, she stated.

This exchange has also helped her to be more realistic. She is now aware she cannot run a gallery immediately, as she would need a partner. Therefore, in the following six months she would like to have a new experience in another art gallery to grow up as a professional: “Going out from my country is teaching me a lot both personally and professionally”.


Annie’s art gallery located in Antwerp.

As part of her day to day, Natalia helped Annie on specific matters, like editing flyers and catalogues: “I’m not very good in designing and I still have to learn. In this sense, Natalia has been very useful for the gallery. “For instance, I went to an art fair in October and she made beautiful catalogues to promote the gallery there”, Annie recognizes. In the same way, the Spanish artist also improved the mailing of Annie’s work, which was helpful for the two exhibitions which took place during Natalia’s stay.

They both share that working together has been a positive experience, getting to do many different things. In the words of Annie, “managing an art gallery is very dynamic. One day you have to build up an exhibition and the other you have to get in touch with the artists, which is not always easy”.

Although she admits that she would have loved to stay longer, taking part in this exchange was important to Natalia as she is now more aware of the pros and cons of starting or expanding a project: “Through the experience of another person you can learn how you can improve it and question yourself if the idea you already had is feasible”.

This same thought is shared by the owner of the gallery, who highlights that she also went through a similar experience in the early 80s: “It was not easy to be an entrepreneur thirty years ago”. For Annie, it has been a pleasure to work with people who are so engaged building their projects: “I’m really enthusiastic about this program and I am open to host other new entrepreneurs in the future”.

Get to know the benefits of the Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs programme

It has been over half a year since we started to work as an Intermediary Organisation (IO) in the Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs (EYE). This EU-funded programme gives new or aspiring entrepreneurs the chance to learn from experienced entrepreneurs running small businesses in other participating countries.

Some entrepreneurs are taking part on the programme during this period, taking advantage of the numerous benefits which are provided by this kind of exchange: the possibility to expand their network, partners and potential customers in other countries, or having a collaborator who provides new ideas and help in the company everyday life, among others. And everything without any charge for the host entrepreneur.

We will soon publish the exchange experience of a Belgian host entrepreneur and a new Spanish entrepreneur who will tell us their their success story.

We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity and get in contact with the Chamber to ask any information you need.


18th Networking Meeting of Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs

The Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg took part in the 18th Networking Meeting of the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) which was held in Brussels on 20 and 21 September. This meeting seeked to put  in contact the intermediary organisations (IOs) from different European countries which participate in this programme, such us the Chamber, which is a local contact point in Belgium. IOs could catch up on the last EYE news and exchange during these two days their experiences and opinions.Print

The event was also uselful to increase the changes of partnership among the participant entities. These ones could make known both new and experienced entrepreneurs interesed in the programme, which encouraged the synergies among the different local contact points.

The Chamber is a local contact point of the Erasmus for Young Entrepeneurs in Belgium since the beginning of 2016. This programme  is financed by the European Commission and operates across 37 countries. Its objective is offer the new entrepreneurs the possibility to benefit from on-the-job training in a small or medium-sized enterprise elsewhere in the participating countries. It is really a win-win collaboration whereby both the new and the experienced entrepreneurs can also discover new European markets or business partners, different ways of doing business.

Whether you are a new entrepreneur or an experienced one (with more than three years of experience), the Chamber is glad to provide you with the information you need and it encourages you to participate in this programme. You can check more detailed information here.