After moving to Ethiopia, the Puustinen family found that local shops had no furniture suitable for their home. Other expatriate residents seemed to be having the same problem so the Puustinens decided to begin making their own.
Henrik and Sini Puustinen established SINI Furniture Interior Design Plc in 2010. They purchased second-hand woodworking machinery from Finland and started production of furniture in 2011 in an industrial building in Addis Ababa.
The start-up was assisted by Finnpartnership, which provided business partnership support for part of the training costs of SINI Furniture employees. The support covered also the wages and travel costs of Finnish instructors.
SINI Furniture designs and produces sofas, armchairs, television stands and kitchen tables and chairs that reflect Nordic design. Customers can also order bespoke furniture.
The company now has 70-75 employees and three stores in Addis Ababa. Demand for its furniture has been even stronger than expected. Demand has been boosted by Ethiopia’s brisk rate of economic growth, expected to approach 10 percent in 2015.
In response to strong demand, the Puustinens decided on a large expansion to their production facilities, due to be completed in 2016. With Finnfund’s loan production volume is increased and quality greatly improved.
Finnfund supports Sini Furniture’s corporate responsibility in environmental and social matters. Hereafter SINI Furniture will stand out from the local competition because of its stock of machinery, its working practices, occupational safety and environmental and social responsibility. The production increase will create 100 new jobs. In time, the skilled employees will improve the level of the general carpentry industry in Ethiopia.