The founder and senior partner of law firm Raidla Lejins & Norcous, Jüri Raidla, has been named 'Entrepreneur of the Year', with Merinvest CEO Enn Meri picking up the 'Lifetime Achievement Award'.
Raidla founded the company in 1993, a year after serving as the Minister of Justice. Raidla Lejins & Norcous has expanded to Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus, employing 120 lawyers and 35 support staff.
Raidla and his company have also received international recognition.
Meri, who owns and leads car part manufacturer Merinvest, returned to Estonia in 1991 and set up a string of manufacturing companies, some of which are still active today.
He said his main factory is in Kuressaare, because he was born there and the staff are more loyal: “The further you are from Tallinn, the more loyal the staff are,” he noted.
Meri said that Estonia has one of the best environments for business in Europe. He recently joined the new Free Party and plans to run for Parliament.
The ceremony, organized by the Ernst & Young Baltic, took place for the seventh time. Brothers Peeter and Priit Rebane won the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' award last year.