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Music Estonia: supporting the Estonian music industry


“This is an economically one of the biggest fast-growing sectors with lots of potential,” says Ave Tölpt, Director of Music Estonia. “The creative industries have a deep connection with tourism and a strong impact on other sectors. We saw during the COVID-19 lockdowns how people want to experience those emotions gained from culture, how important they are for their mental well-being – going to concerts, to the cinema etc. It’s a sector that needs to be supported, especially in a small country like ours, and the international connection is crucial in our efforts to develop the industry.”

Music Estonia is an organisation founded in 2014 by 23 Estonian music companies. “We aim to develop the Estonian music industry into a profitable and innovative sector that exports its services, products and trademarks worldwide,” says Ave. The organisation provides a membership platform for local music businesses, representing the sector in whole at sector events globally, developing the international network, organising seminars and workshops and participating in international projects and organisations.

“We want to create possibilities for Estonian music entrepreneurs,” she adds, “and a big part of that is participation in collaborative European projects. The capacity to bring in European resources is very important – we rely on them a lot. They create important opportunities for our members and sustainability for the organization and its experts, but they also require cashflow. Cost coverage comes usually in the form of reimbursement only after the final report, so we often need cash up front,” she explains.

To bridge this cashflow gap, Music Estonia sought an EU-guaranteed loan from Finora Capital, backed by the EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe. This has allowed the organisation to join a number of multi-national projects: “We’re currently involved in one project that focusses on building capacity for festival teams, another running a hub for music innovation, and a third researching the social impact of small music venues. These are great opportunities for our sector.”

“Music is important in the Baltics – let’s not forget the singing revolution after all. We’re a small country, but we have some big names in various genres, like composer Arvo Pärt, conductors in the Järvi family, rapper Tommy Cash, pianist and composer Kristjan Randalu, saxophone player and composer Maria Faust, electronic artist, and composer Maarja Nuut, Sander Mölder etc. Supporting this vibrant industry can help secure more deals abroad, get greater visibility, make connections… we’ve seen some great outcomes and we look forward to doing more,” Ave concludes.

Company: Music Estonia (Estonia)

Type of business: Music

EIF financing: Cultural & Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS), EFSI

Financial intermediary: Finora Capital

Number of employees: 5

Financial purpose: cashflow

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Estonia, please refer to: EIF intermediaries in Estonia


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