The press kit provides information for media about the e-Residency project, including e-Residency card photos, statistics, facts about Estonia, spokespeople bios and photos as well as quotes.
Photos of the e-Residency card
You can find the latest statistics about e-Residency on our dashboard.
e-Residency Programme Director
Kaspar leads a team that is working to build a digital society of 10 million e-Estonians by 2025. After earning a BSc and MSc in e-Business from Lancaster University, Kaspar was invited back to Estonia by the President’s prestigious “Bring Talent Home” program. In 2015 he was listed as #1 on the Forbes Estonia’s 30 Under 30 in Technology and Finance list.
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CIO of the Republic of Estonia
After serving as CEO of Nortal, the largest Enterprise Software company in Estonia, Taavi sold his shares and accepted an invitation from the Estonian government to become the country’s first CIO in 2013. He serves as the Deputy Secretary General for Communications and State Information Systems and was one the founders of the e-Residency program.
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Digital Policy Adviser at Government Office of Estonia
Siim Sikkut serves as the Digital Policy Adviser in the Government Office of Estonia. In his role he coordinates digital policy planning and execution across the government, he also advises the Prime Minister on digital matters and oversees strategic initiatives in e-governance. Siim is one of the founders of Estonia’s groundbreaking e-Residency programme.
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Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia
Taavi Rõivas has been the Prime Minister of Estonia since March 26, 2014 and his second government took office on April 9, 2015. He has proudly been promoting Estonia’s digital services, including e-Residency, around the world.
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Toomas Hendrik Ilves
Former President of the Republic of Estonia
Toomas Hendrik Ilves was elected President of the Republic of Estonia in 2006. Ilves was re-elected for a second term in office in 2011 and served in that role until 2016. He has been promoting Estonia’s IT-development since the country restored its independence. During recent years, President Ilves has spoken and written extensively at integration, trans-atlantic relations, e-government, cyber security and other related topics.
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“We are inviting developers and service providers worldwide to join Estonia in building a transformative digital society.”
“Developers and service providers can reach new markets and authenticate customers worldwide by integrating e-Residency’s secure government-verified digital ID platform into their services. The Republic of Estonia physically meets every person who wants to use your service, checks their backgrounds, issues them a digital identity and a smart card with a secure private key, and keeps the related infrastructure up-to-date. Furthermore, the government gives you the API you need to authenticate these e-residents online, the tools to comply with KYC requirements, and marketing support.”
“Estonia is the first country to have a state-run app store. The platform is called e-Residency and instead of games, calendars or yet another word processor it gives you government.”
“With e-Residency Estonia is paving the way for the rest of the world with its e-services.”
“I promise that Estonia will continue to work hard to improve the existing services and develop new and relevant ones in order to open doors and offer growth opportunities for our e-residents.”
“The success of the e-Residency project is inspiring and compels the public and private sectors to create more services for e-residents. Our target is to use all of the program’s potential to affect the economy here and elsewhere and make people’s lives easier by giving them the possibility of location independence.”
Toomas H. Ilves:
“This revolution alters geography.”
“With e-Residency you can belong to our hassle-free economic space regardless of your physical location in the world.”
(55, from India. Founded Kaytek Solutions OÜ for consulting and technology transfer).
“It would be interesting for you to know that I was employed before I joined the program. I have now left my job because of what the program gave me an opportunity to become an entrepreneur and start my own business.”
“In a couple of years, if more countries adopt this methodology, we will have a group of entrepreneurs and businessmen, who will not be limited by the boundaries of countries, because technology is shifting more and more to the cloud and e-business platforms. Physical boundaries start losing their relevance.”
(30, from Switzerland. Founder and CEO of Energius OÜ that offers VIP and luxury ground transport service).
“I really believe that e-Residency will become contagious and other countries will adopt the idea. It really improves transparency into what the government is doing, removing bureaucracy and corruption.”
“I explored the USA and Ireland as two obvious places for building a business. I wanted to open a company in a place where I could get all of the benefits of modern technology when it comes to payments and other features. For us it was still too much of a hassle, I think the US was also a good choice, but not as easy as Estonia. It was not as straightforward.”
(33, from Finland. Founder and CEO of Nordic Server Management OÜ that offers consulting and system administration)
“I usually have the card in my laptop bag, and my office moves with me, so it is the whole package. I can run my company wherever I want.”
“Globalization changes the old ways of how you run a business. There is a lot of instability in many parts of the world, like Ukraine, the Middle East and so on. I imagine that many companies may want to incorporate in Estonia because they can run the company online. You can get the company registered in minutes instead of say Italy, where it can take a year and half.”
Facts about Estonia
- Estonia is the most advanced digital society in the world. There are more than 1.2 million active digital ID cards in Estonia, that is nearly 94% of Estonia’s 1.3 million residents. The Estonian digital ID platform enables secure access to all of the state’s e-services and large number of private sector e-services.
- Almost 50% of Estonia is covered by forests. Wireless networks cover the entire country; 3G and 4G networks are available everywhere. Tallinn will be one of the first cities in the world to get a mobile 5G network in 2018. In Estonia, access to the internet is treated almost as a social right.
- Estonia was the first country to implement online voting for general elections. Since 2005 online voting has been used in local, general and European Parliament elections. The number of online voters has constantly grown. More than 30% of voters voted online during the last general elections in 2015.
- Estonia is a member of the European Union, NATO, WTO, OECD and Digital 5. In 2016, Estonia holds the presidency of Digital 5, a network of leading digital governments that also includes the UK, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea.
- According to the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom Estonia’s level of economic freedom ranked 1st among EU countries and 9th in the world. Additionally, Estonia took the top spot on the 2015 International Tax Competitiveness Index.
- Estonian companies can be established, registered, and administered entirely online. In 2009 Estonia received a Guinness World Record for “fastest time to register a new legal entity” – just 18 minutes. Estonian companies do not pay corporate income tax until distributions are made
- The Wall Street Journal reported in 2012 that Estonia produced more start-ups per capita than any other European country. Some of the success stories include TransferWise, GrabCAD and Pipedrive.
- Estonia started teaching programming in its schools. The ProgeTiiger Initiative has involved a select number of schools, where first graders are taught the basics of programming. The instruction incorporates a variety of methods, and some Legos, to make programming fun and playful for the students.
- Estonia has 159 mobile phones per 100 citizens.
- Estonia was the first country to:
– test Li-Fi in real life – wireless communication transmitted with visible light, which reaches speeds up to 100x higher than Wi-Fi.
– have a nationwide electric vehicle charging grid.
– use mobile parking. A service that allows drivers to pay for parking using mobile phones, that has now reached all over the world – including Sweden, Dubai, and the US.
- More facts about e-Estonia:
Press kit was compiled in the framework of EU structural funds support scheme “Raising Public Awareness about the Information Society” and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund.