Having graduated as an agricultural economist from the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Maive Rute began her career as Country Director for a US assistance organisation devoted to supporting the reform of the Estonian agro-food sector. She then became Managing Director of a fund for rural businesses and the food processing industry, focussing on financial management. In 2000 she was selected to perform the challenging task of reforming the enterprise support system in her home country where she became the Chief Executive Officer of a new fund, KredEx. Under her guidance, and starting from scratch, KredEx developed into the main provider of credit guarantees for SMEs as well as for young families and private home owners in Estonia. KredEx is also the official Export Credit Agency of Estonia.
In 2005 Maive Rute was nominated Director for SME policy in the European Commission. The creation of the Small Business Act for Europe and the launch of the pan-European Enterprise Europe Network count as the two main highlights of her term. During this period, she also acted as the European Commission’s Deputy Special Envoy for SMEs and led the Commission’s Lisbon team for Estonia. In July 2009 Maive Rute took on the responsibilities of Director for Biotechnology, Agriculture and Food research in DG R&I, which includes also fisheries and forestry research. The Directorate strives to create a competitive and sustainable bio-based economy in Europe by funding research activities at EU level, coordinating national efforts and facilitating international cooperation. Under her leadership the Directorate has initiated preparation of the strategy for Bio-economy in Europe by 2020.
Maive Rute holds an MBA from Danube University in Austria and a Masters in international politics from CERIS, Belgium. In parallel to her main career, she has acted for several years as a management trainer.