Estonian electronic wiring manufacturer PKC Estonia won top honors at the Entrepreneurship Awards 2012, billed as the country's most prestigious annual business award.
Wireless operator EMT took the title of most competitive company for the second year running. The competition is funded by the European Social Fund and the winners are picked by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Employers' Confederation, informs news.err.ee.
Entrepreneurship award winners in four sub-categories and the most competitive firms in 13 sub-categories were also announced at the gala on Thursday night.
Enterprise Estonia director Ülari Alamets said the entrepreneurship award was the highest state recognition for private enterprise, with winners typically having toiled for years to make it happen. "Every gardener knows it's hardest to start out," he said in his speech. "Our culture has not been that supportive and understanding of those who do not meet with success. But I believe that business failures are beneficial and can be a lesson."
The best company overall was picked on the basis of four sub-categories: startup, exporter, tourism innovator and foreign investor.
The best startup award went to mobile app developer Creative Mobile, whose popular game Basketball Shots 3D for Android systems has been downloaded more than 7.4 million times.
The exporter of the year is Molycorp Silmet, one of Europe's biggest rare earth metal producers. And the tourism innovator award went to Vihula Manor Hospitality, which has developed a 16th century complex into a modern hotel and country club.
PVC Estonia was also picked foreign investor of the year. The company has plants in Haapsalu and Keila and has 1,100 employees.