Lots of Small Enterprises
During Soviet times Raplamaa was an agricultural area. With glass production in Järvakandi and paper production in Kohila both areas have grown around production. After Estonia regained independence, the big agricultural farms have, in some places less easily than others, been reshaped or disappeared.
The biggest agricultural enterprises in today's Raplamaa are in Raikküla, Kehtna and Kaiu rural municipality. After Estonia joined the European Union that brought along agricultural refunds, some of the producers have again grown, but a large part of the production is in the hands of small and medium-sized enterprises.
Through difficulties Estonian Breeders Association that operates in Keava is now firmly established. In Kaiu the growing of beef animals which earlier did not receive much attention in Estonia started developing.
To a large extent agriculture has fallen to the background and given way to forest and wood enterprises (Raplamaa is the most forested county in continental Estonia), small furniture producers, metal and car workshops, sewing, handicraft, tourism, furbishing, property mediation etc. The enterprises that have stayed are, for example, the producer of paint and varnishes ES Sadoline Ltd. in the city of Rapla which was established as the first international enterprise in the Soviet Union, Salutaguse yeast factory in Kohila rural municipality, dairy industry in Rapla that has survived several crises, etc. In Järvakandi the flat class producer was replaced by bottle producer Järvakandi Klaas Ltd. The former entrepreneurs have largely been replaced or at least heavily shaken up.
The abundance and variety of small enterprises is the strength of the economic life in contemporary Raplamaa, as the experts claim. Small enterprises are more flexible and less vulnerable than some big production that determines the welfare of the whole settlement.