General questions about EYE Global

What is the European Union definition of micro, small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)?

The European Commission Communication defines SMEs as follow: “An enterprise is any entity engaged in an economic activity, irrespective of its legal form”. “Enterprises qualify as micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) if they fulfil the criteria laid down in the Recommendation which are summarized in the table below. In addition to the staff headcount ceiling, an enterprise qualifies as an SME if it meets either the turnover ceiling or the balance sheet ceiling, but not necessarily both.

Enterprise category Head count Turnover or Balance sheet total
medium-sized < 250 ≤ € 50 million ≤ € 43 million
small < 50 ≤ € 10 million ≤ € 10 million
micro < 10 ≤ € 2 million ≤ € 2 million


EU’s SME definition: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/sme-definition/index_en.htm

Which countries participate in EYE Global?

Interested host entrepreneurs must be based in the USA (states of New York and Pennsylvania), Israel and Singapore.

The new entrepreneurs in EYE Global must be residents in one of the 28 EU Member States to be eligible to participate. Entrepreneurs from the EU outermost regions and the Oversears Countries and Territories (OCTs) are also eligible to participate. New entrepreneurs must apply via the usual Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme.

Please note that participation in the programme is not based on nationality but on fulfilling the programme’s eligibility criteria with regards to permanent residence in one of the participating countries.

Is there any funding available?

The European Union foresees financial assistance for the new entrepreneurs, which contributes to travel costs to and from the country of the stay and covers subsistence costs during the visit. This financial assistance depends on the country of the exchange and the total length of the collaboration with the host abroad.

Who is responsible for the management of the programme?

The EYE Global pilot project is managed by Directorate-General Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs (DG GROW) of the European Commission.

The implementation of the project is the responsibility of a consortium led by EUROCHAMBRES, the Association of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and consisting of the Belgian-Italian Chamber of Commerce, Unioncamere Veneto and EAEC Luxembourg.

What are the different steps in the programme?

Step-by-step guide

Main steps to follow to participate in the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme

  1. Prepare your application, including a CV that demonstrates your entrepreneurial experience, and the motivation that you will outline in the online application;
  2. Register via the online form (link) and reach out to your local contact point;
  3. Once accepted, build a relationship with a European new entrepreneur (two options):
  4. a) You look for a new entrepreneur in the online catalogue with the help of your local contact point, or
  5. b) You suggest to your local contact point a new entrepreneur that you have come across outside of the catalogue, providing that there is no existing collaboration between the two of you.

Note that note that an exchange might not be considered as eligible is if is not in line with the programmes’ eligibility criteria for an exchange (e.g. internship, work placements, etc.)

  1. Reach an agreement with your new entrepreneur about the exchange and learning project (i.e. the dates, objectives and activity plan of the exchange) and submit the details to your local contact point.

It is important to keep in mind that the programme supports only entrepreneurial collaborations between to the individual entrepreneurs. Participation in the programme is an individual responsibility and cannot be delegated to others.

  1. Signature of Commitment to Quality: A Commitment to Quality, based on the agreed points from step 4, should be digitally signed in the IT Tool by all partners involved in the relationship.
  2. Start of the stay abroad: The duration of the exchange may be from 1 to 3 months, with the possibility of dividing the stay into multiple periods abroad (providing the time span does not exceed a total of 12 months);
  3. The financial assistance to the new entrepreneur will be provided in several payments, according to the agreement signed with the relevant local contact point.
  4. During the exchange, the collaboration will be monitored by the two IOs in order to ensure that it is implemented as agreed. Changes to the activity plan or the dates of the exchange may be possible, provided that all parties involved (NE, HE and both IOs) agree to the changes in advance.
  5. After the exchange, both entrepreneurs will need to respond to the online feedback questionnaire that will be available in the IT Tool.

Should a host entrepreneur wish to host again, he/she will be able to do so once the previous exchange has been successfully completed.

Participation Requirements

What is the definition of permanent residence?

‘Permanent residence’ is defined as the country where the applicant is residing and where his/her company is also registered.

Note that if the applicant is currently living in a non-participating country or a country different from the one where the company is registered, the application will be considered as ineligible .