Gloria Zúñiga from Colombia moved to Tampere 20 years ago. She worked her way into the Finnish labour market and discovered cleantech which she believes has huge export potential.
Gloria Zúñiga was trained as an architect but has worked in many different sectors in Finland. Her previous jobs include Spanish translator at Nokia, various positions in mechanical and industrial engineering companies, and ArchiCAD trainer.
– I started my own business Decoark Oy two years ago. I offer architectural and interior design, produce presentation materials for businesses and help them to build international contacts, she explains in Finnish.
At the moment, she is planning a Colombian export ring for cleantech companies.
Gloria leads the way to Colombia
Gloria Zúñiga became interested in cleantech a few years ago when she was helping a Finnish company that makes material handling systems for separating and recycling construction waste.
– I see huge potential in the industry. Waste management and recycling are critical aspects of modern urban planning and there is demand for good solutions around the world.
– Colombia, for example, is only just beginning to wake up to environmental issues, and there is a shortage of know-how. Tampere, on the other hand, has technological innovators for whom Finland may be too small an operating environment, she says.
The export ring will allow businesses to study the Colombian and other Caribbean markets cost-effectively through Gloria and her knowledge of the culture and language.
– Colombia is better than its reputation; people are approachable and interested in other cultures. The Colombian economy is growing at a tremendous pace and there are various tax cuts to support entrepreneurship, she explains.
Barranquilla is like Tampere
Gloria calls herself both Colombian and Finnish, and she wants to use her role as an ambassador of the AllBright! brand to build a bridge between the Tampere Region and Colombia.
- I have two homes: Tampere and Barranquilla. Barranquilla is a metropolis but in many ways like Tampere. Both are looking for foreign investors and businesses, Barranquilla had its own Central Arena built, and both have used their location by waterways as a source of success.
- My goal is to bring Barranquilla and Tampere closer together and to build business connections. My motto is ‘good business, saving the planet’, she says, smiling.