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BPW Estonia, (Business and Professional Women Organisation, Estonia)

BPW Estonia, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1992 to develop the professional, business, and leadership potential of women through mentoring, networking, skill-building, advocacy as well as to empower projects on regional, national and international level.

BPW Estonia is part of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW), a worldwide organization that was established in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1930. In 1947 it was accredited as an advisory organisation in United Nations (UN) and in 1977 as a consultative institution in the Council of Europe. Though BPW International serves professional businesswomen across more than 100 countries, Europe is the most substantial region with ca. 20,000 members in nearly 30 countries.

BPW Estonia is an affiliate member of the International Federation of BPW International, and has seven clubs with almost 200 members across regions all over Estonia.

Larger purpose of the BPW Estonia is to empower women to get to leadership positions, stand for gender equality, fight against Gender Pay Gap, and organize initiatives to increase the number of female entrepreneurs.

BPW Estonia has started and/or participated over the years in different projects initiated by the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Office of Gender Equality, European Integration Bureau, and the European Union Information Secretariat as well as by Coca Cola Foundation. BPW Estonia experts have reached women in Norway, Finland, Moldova, Georgia, Moscow, Malta, and many other places across the world.

It has been a long tradition to elect the Woman of the Year in Estonia and to attribute the title to socially and professionally outstanding women of Estonia; as a result, strengthening the importance of the role active and inspiring women hold in Estonian society. The Women of the Year are highlighted below:

The Women of the Year

1993 Daisy Järva – Managing Director of the Tallinntuur Travel Agency

1994 Heidi-Ingrid Maaroos – Professor of Medicine at the University of Tartu

1995 Aino Valgma – Promoter of regional studies and local development

1996 Annely Ojastu – Winner of Paralympic Games

1997 Ivi Eenmaa – Mayor of Tallinn

1998 Liis Klaar – Director of the Foundation of Tallinn Pediatric Hospital at Tallinn office

1999 Tiia Loitme – Conductor of the Girl’s Choir Ellerhein

2000 Zanna Botvinkina – A member of the board of Kehra Pulp and Paper Factory Horizon, Chairwoman of Kehra Town Council

2001 Leida Kikka – Executive Director of Samelin Ltd.

2002 Merike Martinson – Chairman of the Board of the Foundation of Tallinn Pediatric Hospital, currently serves as the Vice Mayor of Tallinn

2003 Birute Klaas – Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy of Tartu University

2004 Marika Mikelsaar – Professor of the microbiology of Tartu University

2005 Signe Ratso – Director of the Directory of Foreign Trade of the European Commission

2006 Maie Orav – Teacher of folk dance of recognized authority, organizer of the first Folk Dance Festival of men

2007 Anna Levandi – Figure skating coach

2008 Kauksi Ülle – Writer and stage director

2009 Aet Maatee – Manager of Estonian Song and Dance Celebration Foundation

2010 Kristina Šmigun-Vähi – Cross-country skier

2011 Tea Varrak – Founder of two private business schools, Chairman of the Board of Enterprise Estonia

2012 Maike Parve – Chief Physician of Childbirth Center at the Central Hospital of Western-Tallinn

2013 Katri Raik – Director of Tartu University Narva College

2014 Reet Aus – Fashion designer

2015 Marina Kaljurand – Estonian diplomat and currently serves as the Minister for Foreign Affairs

2016 Helve Särgava – Saidafarm OÜ, Vice Manager

2017 Mari-Liis Lill – Actress and Producer

2018 Eva Truuverk – “Let’s Do It”, leader

2019 Emoke Sogenbitz- Industrial leader


The Women of the Years

1993 Salme Reek – Actress

1997 Marju Lauristin – Professor at the University of Tartu

2007 Ita Ever – Actress

2012 Siiri Oviir – Politician

2015 Ingrid Rüütel – Folklorist and Philologist

2017 Reet Laja – Estonian Women’s Studies and Resource Center, Chairman of the Board

2019 Anu Raud- Textile artist, Academician


Young Woman Entrepreneur

2011 Eva-Maria Õunapuu – Founder of Estonian nature cosmetics brand Joik

2012 Katriin Jüriska – Manager of NGO Re-use Center

2013 Darja Saar – Executive Director of Foundation ENTRUM

2014 Kriss Soonik-Käärmann – Fashion Designer

2015 Kristi Täht – Owner and CEO at Marat OÜ, Qualitex AS, Katarina OÜ

2016 Kristi Saare – Founder of the Women’s Investment Club

2017 Kristel Kruustük – Founder and CEO of Testlio

2018 Ann Runnel- Reverse Resources, Founder

2019 Mari Liis Lind- Tech educator


BPW Estonia was founded on November 11, in 1992 with the goal of contributing toward the development of women entrepreneurs, managers and professional women, and the establishment of their mutually beneficial contacts.


BPW Estonia founders: 

Leena Blum, Anne Hallika, Pille Heideman, Karin Juhat, Hille Karm, Liis Klaar, Hilja Kuusk, Maie Oblikas, Riina Kütt, Sirje Küttis, Reet Laja, Katrin Leis, Malle Lind, Maila Mikk, Marge Mägi, Tiiu Ots, Vaike Protten, Helve Remmelgas, Helle Tiismus, Eve Uljas, Virve Viljus, Anne Väin, Ludmilla Tsirel

Post & Bank

MTÜ BPW Estonia, reg no 80036176

Postal address: Ristiku 10, Tallinn, Estonia

Bank: AS SEB Pank
Tornimäe 2, Tallinn, Estonia
IBAN: EE851010052032732009


Tallinn club
president: Siiri Tiivits-Puttonen

Tartu club
president: Reet Treial

Rannamõisa club
president: Inge Strahov

Enterpreneurship  club
president: Mari Kooskora

Pärnu club
president: Katrin Kuntus

Võru club
president: Merle Koop

Business Club
president: Liina Vettik

Narva Club
president: Ljubov Fomina

leader: Lisanna Elm



Ester Eomois



Maie Mängel




Lisanna Elm