The EUROPEAN COWORKINGS PROGRAMME/ TRANSNATIONAL NETWORK is an international business pre-acceleration program, supported by the European Social Fund, aimed at entrepreneurs that benefit from free trainings and ad-hoc mentoring, both online and in-situ at an entrepreneurship/innovation centre located in a EU member state for several weeks.
Each entrepreneur receives on-line training on Lean StartUp, according to EOI´s Agile Methodology for Entrepreneurs, and a personalised mentoring for their business idea from international mentors. The training and mentoring process lasts aproximately 2 months.
Once the mentoring process is finished, each entrepreneur comes up with a final Business Pitch that will present at the Wrap up Event to an Assessment Committee composed of mentors and experts from several European Innovation Centres. In this event panel discussions and debates among European mentors and entrepreneurs are facilitated, best mentoring practices on entrepreneurship are exchanged and lessons learned are discussed.
The programme is developed under the umbrella of the Spanish National Operational Programme for Employment, Training and Education of the European Social Fund. Under this Programme, Spain is investing €3.0 billion, of which €2.1 billion come from the EU budget and the rest from national resources, aimed at improving employment, training and education in Spain.
FINALIST OF THE REGIOSTARS AWARDS 2017
This programme was finalist of the RegioStars Awards, a recognition that EU DG Regio grants in a yearly basis to the most innovative projects, within the Category of Education and Training.
NOT AN ERASMUS FOR ENTREPRENEURS
European Coworkings EOI is not an “Erasmus for Entrepreneurs” where the entrepreneur benefits from an internship in a company of his/her area of exptertise.
The European Coworkings Programme offers to the entrepreneur a personalised mentoring from an international expert working in a European Innovation/Acceleration/Incubation centre.
Since most of the mentoring hours are done in-situ, the entrepreneur gets to know first-hand other local entrepreneurs and possible partners, customers and investors in the European City where the accelerator is located.
Therefore, entrepreneurs must really get out of their comfort zones and dive into the local entrepreneurial ecosystem.
WHAT KIND OF ENTREPRENEURS CAN JOIN THE PROGRAMME?
Entrepreneurs are selected according to ESF and EOI-based criteria, the most relevant being :
- The business project has to be under way or already running (max.3 years old).
- Project ideas can address any field of activity (IT, tourism, health, collaborative economy, green economy, social innovation…)
- Special consideration will be given to innovative and green ideas.
- A high level of English from the entrepreneur is required as well as a strong motivation towards the Programme.
- The fact that a given business project idea will be internationally mentored has to make sense
- No age restrictions.
The main objective of the Project is to promote entrepreneurship and self-employment in Spain through TRAINING AND MENTORING, boosting business ideas that might have an international dimension, not only from the perspective of searching new markets, new investors or new customers abroad but from the side of really “getting out of the box” and receive brand fresh ideas from mentors coming from a different culture and business environment.
The second big objective of the project is to create a EUROPEAN NETWORK OF MENTORS that can guide ENTREPRENEURS to reinforce their international business strategy of their newly created firm or simply make their business grow as to achieve a stronger European dimension.
STEPS AND PHASES
The whole process structure of the project is as follows:
- Call for projects: EOI disseminates the call at a national level to identify entrepreneurs.
- Selection of beneficiaries: EOI collects all the applications and selects 50 entrepreneurs that best observe the requirements for the call (business innovative idea, motivation, language skills…).
- Matching Entrepreneur- Hosting center: EOI assigns a hosting center to each entrepreneur, according both to the entrepreneur and mentor profiles.
- General Training: Entrepreneurs receive an online course on Agile Entrepreneurship via weekly webinars.
- On-line Mentoring I (pre-time abroad): Mentor virtually meets the entrepreneur and discusses business needs prior to his/her visit to the country (via Skype, hang outs…)
- Time Abroad!: Entrepreneurs spend 5weeks in the assigned EU center, where he/she receives 40 mentoring hours.
- On-line Mentoring II (post-time abroad): After coming back home, entrepreneurs and mentors spend some extra hours (online), to wrap-up the mentoring process and end the final pitch, that will be presented by the entrepreneur in the final event.
- Final Wrap Up Event in Spain.
The European Coworkings would not be possible without our European partners (entrepreneurship, innovation and acceleration centres). Thanks to our fruitful and enriching collaboration with EBN and Impact Hub Madrid and thanks to EOI´s direct partnership with European acceleration programmes, we have set up an outstanding NETWORK OF EUROPEAN MENTORS.
The following institutions have been partners of the programme so far:
When launching the programme in 2016, our idea was not only to send Spanish entrepreneurs to Europe. We aimed also at welcoming entrepreneurs in our almost 50 EOI´s Coworking Spaces where specific mentoring programmes are offered.
After some months of search, we met the team of CREATIVE CITIES in Antwerp (Belgium). The collaboration with our Belgian ESF Transnational partner has been extremely enriching. Spanish entrepreneurs are mentored in Belgium (in Creative Cities´ Coworking Space TOKO 139) and Belgian entrepreneurs are mentored in our Coworkings spaces in Spain. Best practices on mentoring methodologies are shared between institutions as well as new ideas on how entrepreneurship can boost social inclusion.
COLLABORATION IN EUROPE!
We expect from the Project to become a good example of collaboration and experience sharing across borders, as a useful way to access new ideas, innovative approaches and skills, as the European Commission and Member States alike are renewing their efforts to support transnational cooperation under the ESF policies.
WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT OUR ENTREPRENEURS´ PROJECTS?
- Wrap Up Event 1st edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCUAzuEMaZE
- Wrap Up Event 2nd edition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SUKnIyK1lE
- Mentoring at Impact Hub Prague: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGGaC5SBD2Q
ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR INTERESTED IN THE PROGRAMME?
More info in: firstname.lastname@example.org