General goal and links with other development plans
In setting general goals we have relied on the two umbrella objectives of the competitiveness plan "Estonia 2020"1, namely:
- To increase productivity per employed person to 80% of the EU average
- To raise the employment rate in the age group 20–64 to 76%
In order to increase productivity we shall focus both on raising the ambition of entrepreneurs as well as on enhancing research and development activities, innovation and investments and export. In terms of employment, focus will be on bringing about the structural changes in the labour market by increasing the share of jobs creating higher added value. Based on an estimate that productivity growth will lead, in the long term, to an increase of employment we have set productivity growth as the general goal of the strategy (see Figure 2. General goal and the objectives of the strategy)2. Objectives of the strategy reflect the main components contributing to the achievement of the general goal.
Figure 2. General goal and the objectives of the strategy
The strategy also contributes directly to the achievement of the 'Growth of welfare' goal of the National Strategy on Sustainable Development 'Sustainable Estonia 21', the main component of which – economic prosperity – and the basic mechanisms for achieving it largely coincide with that foreseen in the Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy.
The development plan is also closely linked with other sectoral development plans influencing entrepreneurship and the business environment. The following figure (see Figure 3.) depicts links with other development plans and gives the most important keywords 3.
Figure 3. Links of the growth strategy with other development plans
Several national development plans contribute either directly or indirectly to business development 4. The Regional Development Strategy includes the target group of regional businesses (see p 11), amplifying the emergence of enterprises both in centres of attraction as well as beyond them. The Rural Development Plan and the Tourism Development Plan focus on the development of entrepreneurship in certain economic sectors, while addressing specific bottlenecks.
While the task of developing research potential necessary for the development of a highly skilled workforce and entrepreneurship lies with the Research and Development and Innovation Strategy managed by the Ministry of Education and Research, the Lifelong Learning Strategy plays a key role in the development of human resources in general.
The Lifelong Learning Strategy sets a goal of providing the next generation of enterprising people with up-to-date knowledge and expertise. Therefore, in the context of business development, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications places the following expectations on the educational system:
- to update science courses in basic schools and upper secondary schools 5
- to enhance quality engineering education, including linking theoretical study with practical training
- to make the vocational and continuous training system more efficient
- to integrate the development of e-skills in study programmes
The availability of the workforce is greatly influenced by structural unemployment. While entrepreneurs have difficulties finding qualified workers, a considerable number of people on the labour market are today unemployed 6. Therefore, in order to have more skilled workers return to employment through the active labour market policy (in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Research, if necessary) much is expected of the employment policy managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. When bearing in mind productivity, the health status of the population is also of great importance, addressed by the National Health Plan 2009–2020 managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. Employment policy is complemented by the Information Society Development Plan 2014–2020, focusing on the development of people's skills to make better use of the opportunities of the information society (while bearing in mind the security of developed services). In co-operation with the Ministry of the Interior efforts are being made to facilitate and expedite the employment process of highly skilled experts in Estonia.
In addition to the abovementioned, the Information Society Development Plan 2014–2020 promotes the development of entrepreneurship through the development of communication and service infrastructure contributing to the increase in competitiveness. This Strategy focal points on co-operation to promote Estonia's international reputation, where the measures of the Information Society Development Plan contribute to the development and spread of Estonia's image as a country of e-solutions. The Entrepreneurship Growth Strategy further spreads and amplifies this message.