Expert’s commentary: Estonian creative industries – only the strongest will survive

Tiiu Allikmäe, Creative Estonia

Just after the state of emergency was declared in Estonia, the creative industry companies started to map potential influences on their businesses. There were questionnaires in specially established Facebook group and all the gathered information was sent to the government officials to help to design  the support measures. The estimated losses were significant.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash.


The best and the most helpful measure turned out to be Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund´s salary support (for two months, max eur 1000).

As creative industries is based on the creatives, an existing Creative Persons and Artistic Associations Act support scheme was adjusted to help freelance creative people as well.

New scheme was introduced: partial compensation of the costs already incurred due to cancelled events or cessation of activities of culture and sport organisations; partial compensation covering unavoidable fixed costs of the organisations that had to close their doors.

The support will be  allocated to museums, theaters, music field, literature and publishing  and  design.  Also festivals, foundations, collectives will be supported. There will be a support scheme for visual arts and audiovisual field to help relaunch film production.

As the micro businesses do not qualify to the newly introduced crisis loan schemes, creatives are waiting for the opening the schemes of Enterprise Estonia, which is aimed at supporting  micro and small enterprises and entrepreneurs affected by the crisis.

Creatives are reacting creatively. Almost all areas started to offer their services online – there are  music and theatre performances, art galleries, museums, live book readings  ect. Designers who had their online shops already up started sample sales and cooperated with each other to be more effective. Fashion designers started to sew protective masks, designers participated in online hackathons to find solutions. For example, Gelatex won the first place in Hack The Crisis hackathon wit easily scalable nanofiber production method to make filters for masks etc.

But of course, not all businesses were not able to react quickly and we´ll see which ones are going to open their doors after the crisis.

We can say, that the strongest will survive.