5 Reasons why Estonia is a successful start-up nation

Estonia is the 151st -smallest country in the world by population, yet it produces more start-ups per head of population than any other country in Europe.

  1. Skype was programmed by Estonian tech wizards. The internet-telephony company (now part of Microsoft) runs on software written by four Estonians and has its headquarters in the capital, Tallinn. Skype founders “look like rock stars” to Estonians and inspire imitation.
  2. Estonia’s leadership has been consistent and eager to embrace new solutions and technology since regaining the independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It now has one of the world’s most advanced e-governments. Estonia held world’s first local and parliamentary e-voting, in 2005 and 2007 respectively.
  3. It has got a simple and straightforward tax system, with flat rate of tax paid regardless of one’s income.
  4. Estonians learned a can-do attitude during harsh Soviet times and became eager to create prosperity, once the Iron Curtain fell.
  5. Estonia is too small to succeed internally, forcing aspiring entrepreneurs to treat the entire world as their oyster. They know too well the famous quote from writer Ernest Hemingway:” In every port in the world, at least one Estonian can be found.”

Photo by VisitEstonia

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About the author: Silver Tambur

Silver Tambur is the cofounder and Editor-in-Chief of Estonian World. He has previously studied journalism at the University of Tartu, and Politics & Society at the Birkbeck College, University of London. Silver has been the editor at the Estonian Public Broadcasting’s news service in English, as well as contributing for the Business Sense magazine in the UK, Deutsche Welle and Radio New Zealand. You can also follow him on Twitter. You can write to Silver at silver@estonianworld.com.