DEG finances toy company Steiff’s African production facility to safeguard jobs during the pandemic

TUNISIA – DEG, a German development finance institution, is providing German toy company Steiff’s African production facility with financing via the AfricaConnect programme, using funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

This loan will help to strengthen an important employer in a less industrially developed region of Tunisia, thereby safeguarding jobs throughout the pandemic. Steiff employs some 800 people in its factory in Sidi Bouzid.

Steiff, which is known for its soft toy animals and high-quality children’s clothing, has its headquarters in the town of Giengen in eastern Baden-Württemberg. As well as its production facility in Giengen, Steiff has operated a factory in Tunisia for over 40 years.

The AfricaConnect financing also facilitates investments in long-term competitiveness and ecological sustainability in production.

“Steiff has always set great store by ecological sustainability along its entire value chain – both through energy-efficient production and through the materials used for our quality products. The DEG financing will allow our future production in Tunisia to meet the Global Organic Text Standard (GOTS) certification as well,” Dirk Petermann, Managing Director of Margarete Steiff GmbH said.

AfricaConnect provides financing support on attractive terms to European companies in both their existing and planned activities in Africa. It promotes and facilitates local investments in a targeted manner, offering tailored financing solutions without red tape.

Steiff was founded in 1880 by Margarete Steiff, a seamstress. The toys began as elephants and were originally a design Steiff found in a magazine and sold as pincushions to her customers.

However, children began playing with them, and in the years following she went on to design many other animal-themed toys for children, such as dogs, cats and pigs. She designed and made most of the prototypes herself.

DEG offers financing, advice and support to private sector enterprises operating in developing and emerging-market countries. Their customers can rely on theirexpertise: They can benefit from their market knowledge, their 21 locations worldwide and our international network, for entrepreneurial success and development.

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