Sera Helsinki discussed the role of corporate responsibility in its operations at the Finnpartnership corporate responsibility workshop


Anna Suoheimo talks about Sera Helsinki to other participants of the corporate responsibility workshop

The theme of the workshop organised by Finnpartnership on Tuesday 28 November was corporate responsibility, its significance and the opportunities it presents companies. After an introduction by Finnpartnership, Corporate Responsibility Expert Merja Pentikäinen explained corporate responsibility in general and offered attendees practical tools for exercising corporate responsibility.

The founder of Sera Helsinki and recipient of Finnpartnership business partnership support, Anna Suoheimo, talked about her views on the significance of responsibility. Suoheimo lived for five years in Ethiopia and during that time came up with the idea of responsibly produced design rugs that would be appealing to Finns. The products combine Finnish design and Ethiopian craftsmanship traditions that date back several centuries – all production steps are done by hand, which allows a maximum number of jobs to be created.

Ethical production and “empowering design” are at the centre of Sera Helsinki’s operations. It is important to the company that their employees receive good wages and a life of equality. Employees are primarily blind and single mothers – two groups that are among the most vulnerable in Ethiopia. Eight craftsmanship professionals who train disabled artisans in Addis Ababa work for Sera Helsinki. Currently, there are a total of 65 weavers working for the company. The business partnership support received from Finnpartnership has made the training of the weavers possible. According to Suoheimo, the focus on ethical and ecological production has had a positive impact on the demand for Sera Helsinki products.

Sera Helsinki rugs are made ecologically from sheep’s wool, which is not dyed at any point of production. In addition, the company sells towels made of cotton. Currently, the company’s products are available from their online store.

Finnpartnership thanks all participants of the workshop!


The schedule for Finnpartnership’s application workshops for next year has been published – register and join us!

Finnpartnership will hold monthly application workshops in 2018. The workshops will provide instructions on preparing an application for business partnership support. In addition, the workshops cover companies’ environmental and social impact matters, especially from the perspective of operating in developing countries, in addition to the positive impact possibilities for development through business. Further information and how to register:


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