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President Kaljulaid to entrepreneurs: inventing is key to Estonia’s success


Inventing is key to Estonia's success not simply copying the ideas of others, said President Kersti Kaljulaid today at the Best Estonian Enterprises 2016 gala awards at which successful enterprises and entrepreneurs were acknowledged.

"The quick improvement of technologies developed by foreign investors is no longer the key. Now we are playing for the bank – can we or can we not become innovation leaders," stated President Kaljulaid.

According to the Head of State, many companies face a challenge: do they have the ability to expand to foreign states without risking too much of their future revenues. They also must determine whether they can employ people from other countries to promote their business, just like we have been employed ourselves to date. "As I stand today here, in front of you, and consider today's recipients of the awards I do believe you can," stated President Kaljulaid.

At the event, the President of the Republic announced the Company of the Year 2016, which was won by Hekotek AS. The laureate of the Young Entrepreneur 2016 competition, which was initiated by the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Swedbank, was awarded to the founder and CEO of Taxify OÜ, Markus Villig.

The Head of State emphasised in her address that entrepreneurs play a huge role in breaking the glass ceiling of the average income, which has become an obstacle in many sectors. "It is important to comprehend the nature of the ceiling before we run out of oxygen and wear ourselves down, with our noses stuck against the glass. We need to find the exit, or rather exits, because single solutions that are simple, clear and wrong or are only short term fixes are not good enough to satisfy us long term, said President Kaljulaid.

"Many of today's profitable jobs are flexible; they offer the pleasure of entrepreneurship and freedom to take one's own decisions. Young people are seeking freedom and not simply a job from the employment market. Free spirit requires a free environment in which to become creative and nurturing," said President Kaljulaid.

She also added that freedom always brings responsibility. "You can protect your freedom by taking responsibility for our economic environment. Fair play requires less work from intermediaries. I can see that the passing of time will help us to understand this concept better."

Office of the President
Public Relations Department