Increasing cooperation between companies run or owned by women in Finland and developing countries – get to know the stories of Anna, Pihla, Leila, Eva, Minna, Hanna and Tracey!

1 July 2021

With the help of Finnpartnership, Finnish companies can improve the growth of companies in developing countries in a sustainable and a more concrete manner by creating sustainable and decent jobs. In accordance with Finland’s development policy, the aim is to actively increase especially the number of women taking part in international business.

Finnpartnership provides Matchmaking for connecting companies and Business Partnership Support financing (max. 85 %) for the first steps of the project, significantly reducing the financial risk in the pursuit of long-term business activities in developing countries. During autumn 2021, together with the Women Entrepreneurs of Finland and ITC (International Trade Center), Finnpartnership wants to encourage even more women entrepreneurs to grasp opportunities in developing markets – the world is getting smaller and initial plans to develop the business do not have to be grand and pompous. Operations can be expanded with small, high-quality batches of products or for example together with an NGO! Many Finnish women entrepreneurs have already succeeded in growing brilliant businesses, allowing profitable operations whilst making the world a better place.

Get to know the success stories on our website about companies owned or led by women: read how Anna Suoheimo imports handmade luxury rugs to Finland and employs hundreds of people with disabilities in Ethiopia or how Leila Omar’s solar electricity company found markets in Somalia. Pihla Meskanen has in turn introduced Finnish architecture education to children in Vietnam and Tracey Powers-Erkkilä sells high-quality handmade textiles imported from e.g. Morocco and Ethiopia to Finnish quality- and sustainability-conscious customers. As for Eva Wissenz, she has partnered up with NGOs operating locally in East Africa, and together they have supported the formation of commercial small-scale bakeries that use solar ovens produced by Wissenz’ company. Minna Impiö employs hundreds of people in Kenyan co-operatives and sells internationally successful basket products, which combine Nordic design and Kenyan weaving skills. Hanna Khalili, in turn, values the ethicality of the exotic drink products imported to Finland.

In August, we will map out women entrepreneurs’ interest in business in the developing countries with a separate questionnaire. In case you are interested to answer to the questionnaire, please contact: matchmaking(a)

On October 7th, there will also be a business seminar aimed at women entrepreneurs, where we will meet women entrepreneurs from Sri Lanka and Pakistan and explore collaboration opportunities with them. The registration will open closer to the event, but you can already join the mailing list for the event: matchmaking(a)  

Picture: Sera Helsinki