How North East businesses can make connections overseas

BIC Business Development Manager, Louise Hardy (front, centre) and  Erasmus partners.
BIC Business Development Manager, Louise Hardy (front, centre) and Erasmus partners.

North East businesses are being urged to go international – with a little help from their friends.

The Sunderland-based North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) is encouraging businesses across the region to exchange knowledge and collaborate with overseas partners through a specialist exchange programme.

The Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme offers those in the early stages of starting a business the opportunity to spend on average three to four months working in a similar industry elsewhere in Europe.

It also allows for established businesses in the North East to act as a ‘host’ and to welcome a European entrepreneur to work with them to improve contacts and share experience and ideas.

The project is funded by the European Commission and aims to allow both parties to benefit from broadening their network of contacts and gaining fresh ideas to open up new opportunities.

Business Development Manager Louise Hardy is the BIC’s manager for Erasmus.

A keen advocate for the scheme, she is urging businesses to make the most of the opportunities the scheme presents.

“I am delighted that the BIC can once again offer businesses this fantastic opportunity,” she said.

“Having been involved with Erasmus for over five years, I have seen first-hand the benefits it can bring to participating entrepreneurs.

“From developing international contacts and discovering collaboration opportunities, to strengthening your sector skills, the project stimulates the growth of start-ups and established SMEs,” added Louise.

“I am on hand to help guide applicants and remain the point of contact throughout the process.

“One recent exchange involved Let’s Circus, a Newcastle-based company, who acted as a host to an entrepreneur visiting from Italy.

“The entrepreneur delivered large projects, opening up new opportunities for Let’s Circus, whilst also developing their skills to run their own business.

“This is a prime example of how the project can help both the host and the entrepreneur.”

Anyone wanting more information on the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme should contact Louise Hardy on 0191 516 6170 or email Louise.hardy@ne-bic.co.uk.