Having already housed “tech unicorns,” like telecommunications giant Skype and money-transferring app Wise, Estonia is widely considered to be a preeminent entity in startup activity. Last Thursday, Ambassador of Estonia to the United States Kristjan Prikk visited Oglethorpe University to discuss the emerging entrepreneurial trends of his country, offering engaging insights to aspiring business professionals.
In conversation with the Hammack School of Business‘ Prof. Leroy Carson, Jr., senior lecturer in business management, Ambassador Prikk shared the elements of Estonian infrastructure that has fostered entrepreneurship, including a rapid development cycle — especially for tech companies — and online business registration and licensing. The country’s size is also a factor. Estonia is small (with just over a million citizens), nimble and efficient, which has also proved a boon for the country’s economic growth.
After a brief lecture, students were able to ask Ambassador Prikk questions about entrepreneurship directly. One student even expressed interest in becoming an ambassador, which prompted the Estonian official to recommend internships with legislators, diplomats and thinktanks.
As a closing thought, he left students with a nugget of wisdom: to always seek to increase one’s cultural IQ. To become a global leader or engage in international affairs, one must always take time to study, interact with and embrace other cultures.
“What better way to get entrepreneurship officially started at Oglethorpe University than having an ambassador from one of the hottest startup countries in the world speak to our student body,” says Prof. Carson.
The Hammack School of Business often holds forums for students to engage with leaders in the business world. The Mack A. Rikard Lecture Series introduces students to current issues in business as presented by business and civic leaders.