Destination Bogotá: – from the United Nations to starting a business in Colombia

Colombian-born Diana Ramos is a specialist in renewable energies who trained as an environmental engineer in Germany. She spent four years working in a high-level position at the United Nations in Bonn, helping to bring anthropogenic global warming under control, before deciding to return to her home country of Colombia.

Diana Ramos

‘I was tired of working at a desk at the meta level and realised that I’d much rather work on implementing projects on the ground. Preferably in my home country of Colombia.’

Starting a business in Colombia

‘When my employment contract in Germany was not renewed, I said to myself, it’s now or never. That was my chance to start my own business in Colombia,’ she recalls.

The 40-year-old entrepreneur went on to do just that. Together with her business partner Marleny Reyes, she founded the company Synergy – Alliances for Sustainability, which gives people living in remote rural regions of Colombia an opportunity to make lasting improvements to their lives with the help of renewable energy and improved water management. Among other things, the company develops solutions that can be used by Colombian dairy farmers to cool their products more effectively. This not only allows them to improve the quality of their milk, but also to make higher-value products through processing – and ultimately generate more income.

Founder Diana Ramos

Diana Ramos (second from left) and her business partner Marleny Reyes (fourth from left) meeting potential customers – in this case, a group of Colombian dairy farmers.

The business idea

Synergy – Alliances for Sustainability brings together the various stakeholders involved in development projects, with their different perspectives, interests and needs. It provides advice and support on the development and implementation of projects, with a view to ultimately ensuring their success and sustainability. The company specialises in projects in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and water management.

The company

Synergy – Alliances for Sustainability

  • Founded at the start of 2017 by Diana Ramos and Marleny Reyes
  • Based in Bogotá
  • Supported by GIZ

From a rough idea to a business model

‘Without Business Ideas for Development, I probably wouldn’t be in Colombia today, and I probably wouldn’t be my own boss,’ says Diana. I only had a very rough idea to begin with. The advice and ongoing support I received helped me to transform that into a viable business model that earns money. Just as importantly, it also helped me to overcome my doubts and uncertainties.’

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