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Estonia Startups

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Putting aside Estonia’s problems with migration, it has been one of the major success stories of Europe over the last few years. The existing government is relatively stable considering the extreme austerity measures they rolled out. The country has a history of being one step ahead of the rest in terms of technology, being the first country in the world to use online voting for the national parliamentary elections. In addition to that, they have impressive statistics showing that the country is producing more technology start-ups per capita than any other EU country. One of the more famous start-ups is of course Skype, and to ensure this trend is maintained, the Estonian government is now seeking to educate children in computer programming from as young as seven years of age as part of the school curriculum. They’ve also introduced Smartlab, a public/private partnership with companies including Microsoft, which will see the creation of hobby groups for 10-19 year olds to get instruction in robotics, programming and mobile app and web design. There is no corporate tax on re-invested profits which is promoting long term investment. Their corporate tax rate has been falling continuously since 2004 when it was at 26%. It’s now at 21% but will be dropped to 20% in 2015. In terms of large scale manufacturing and distribution, the country has quick access to the Baltic Sea ports and has its own. With regard to energy security a forcible decrease in the oil shale share of the country's energy output is planned with a new nuclear power plant approved by the government to be built by 2023. With such a high emphasis on education in technology and programming, the future looks bright for Estonia if they can retain their young people, and reverse the declining trend in population.…...

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