The Estonian Police and Border Guard Board issued an Estonian e-residency card to the 100,000th person earlier this week, marking a significant achievement for the e-Residency programme since its launch in 2014.
Estonia now has e-residents from 176 countries across the world, reflecting the truly global reach of this innovative digital initiative. There are currently more than 63,000 valid e-ID cards in circulation with a 5-year validity period.
The very first e-resident was Edward Lucas, an Estonian-British citizen who became a senior editor at The Economist in December 2014. Lucas, who has recently visited Estonia, is a renowned security expert who writes for a number of prominent international publications, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) and is standing as a Liberal Democrat candidate for the UK Parliament.
“I am delighted to see how many people have become e-residents since I was granted the status. As a secure digital state, Estonia remains several steps ahead of other countries. The e-Residency programme has made a tremendous contribution to Estonia’s international reputation, boosting the country’s brand value and enhancing its security, particularly in today’s circumstances. Keep up the good work!” said Lucas. He has also recorded a special video greeting.
Boosting Estonia’s recognition
As pointed by Lauri Haav, Managing Director of e-Residency, the timing of this milestone is a wonderful surprise – the 100,000th e-resident is joining the community merely days before the country’s 105th Independence Day on February 24. “Estonia is known for singing revolution back in 1990, and figuratively speaking, with 100,000 global e-residents, we could organise a next song festival. On the eve of our Independence Day, we are very proud that 100,000 e-residents make up the unique global diaspora of Estionia, the only digital society in the world. It is heart-warming to know that we have such a valuable connection with the community of global remote entrepreneurs and digital trendsetters,” commented Haav.
In addition to its impressive membership figures, the e-Residency programme has generated more than €150 million in taxes and state fees for Estonia, and this revenue stream is growing every year. The programme has also helped to boost Estonia’s global visibility and impact as an innovative digital country. “We consider all our e-residents, wherever they are in the world, to be our ambassadors. They spread information about Estonia in their networks and share our digital know-how in other parts of the world, thereby boosting Estonia’s image and influence as an innovative digital nation,” explained Haav.
“In addition to being Estonia’s international calling card, the e-Residency program has also proven to be exceptionally profitable, generating annual revenue that is six times higher than the program’s operating costs,” Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT Kristjan Järvan said in 2022 to ERR. As reported earlier, the 23,200+ new Estonian companies created by e-residents generated an estimated 1.8 billion euros in turnover and created 6,700+ jobs in Estonia.
That’s not all the impressive figures. Last year it took Austrian e-resident Dominik Panosh just 15 minutes and 33 seconds to set up his new Estonian company during London Tech Week, which is a world record in business creation speed. The previous one was also held by Estonia.
Haav acknowledges that there is still room for improvement in the customer experience, but he’s pleased to report that the internationally recognized Net Promoter Score for e-Residency was 64 in 2022, which is close to the highest level in the world and the programme’s highest score to date. This excellent reputation among the e-Resident community confirms the programme’s value and underscores its importance for Estonia’s continued success.
A recent Norstat survey commissioned by e-Residency revealed that 74% of Estonians consider the programme to be an important contributor to Estonia’s reputation as a digital society. Moreover, 73% of respondents believe that e-Residency will help to attract foreign investment to Estonia and increase the country’s recognition and reputation as an innovative digital nation.
Want to become an e-Resident? Start here! Need advice on investing in Estonia? Use our 1:1 e-Consulting service.