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The main government-level programs to raise awareness about entrepreneurship are Entrepreneurship Awareness program and Start-up Estonia.
The purpose of the support scheme is to raise awareness on entrepreneurship in society, among specific target groups and support the development of established entrepreneurs. The following activities are carried out within the framework of the program:
- Advice and information is given in regional development centers
- Training in various sectors essential to entrepreneurship, e.g. management, marketing, etc.
- Events to raise awareness on entrepreneurship, e.g. entrepreneurship week and entrepreneurship days, an entrepreneurship competition
- Activities aimed at increasing the export capacity of entrepreneurs, e.g. fair visits, export consultants and creation of a contact network in foreign markets
- Activities aimed at building Estonia’s reputation
Funding for this program - European Regional Development Fund.
The target group of the program:
- People who might be interested in entrepreneurship today or in the distant future and who wish to start a business
- Entrepreneurs (incl. managers of enterprises, employees and owners).
- Organizations related to entrepreneurship.
- Present and future investors.
- Other legal or natural persons who promote entrepreneurship and contribute to the development of entrepreneurship.
Start-up Estonia is a program for developing an ecosystem of start-ups aimed at increasing the potential for entrepreneurship in people. The program contributes to developing a financing model for start-ups that would help them become successful. The initial Start-up Estonia program was launched by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications in 2011. The aim of the program is to improve the business environment for start-ups and increase the development of innovative products and services. Two types of activities are supported within the framework of the program:
- Training and development programs introduced in pre-start-up stages:
- Programs for developing start-up skills and knowledge
- Programs for establishing start-ups and achieving investor readiness
- Support of accelerators in start-up stages
The program took effect in July 2015 and has been implemented since autumn 2015.
Annually the entrepreneurship week is organized all over Estonia by the initiative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications. During the week different conferences, work-groups and trades are organized in Estonian counties. Every spring national “Entrepreneur of the year” gala is held, where entrepreneurs are awarded in various categories.
In addition, there are TV-shows created supported by public funding such as Kapital, Ajujaht, Kapist Välja, etc. to raise awareness about entrepreneurship by showing different steps and phases of entrepreneurship.
There is a long tradition of cooperation between major governmental and non-governmental (especially organizations representing employers) stakeholders to support entrepreneurship in Estonia. However, few of them are specifically targeting entrepreneurship of young people and those have been named in chapter 3.9.
One of the most prominent promoters of entrepreneurship culture among young people has been the Foundation Junior Achievement Estonia, established in 1994, which aims to develop the entrepreneurial spirit in young people by giving them the ability to think economically, but also ethically. JA Estonia main activities include:
- Preparation of training materials
- Training of economics and business teachers.
- Organizing student activities.
- Sending students and teachers to competitions, conferences and other educational events.
- Raising public awareness of the need for entrepreneurship education.
There are currently no specific initiatives to support partnerships focusing on young people.