Colombian Woman Turns a Problem Into Big Business

Carolina Guerra The Way Women WorkCarolina Guerra saw a big problem, but chose not to turn a blind eye.

Guerra saw something negatively affecting her community, her country, and her planet and with the help of two colleagues found a way to solve it.

She always wanted to run her own business and was inspired by companies like the Cirque du Soleil that took old business models and made them into something novel and unique. Her initiative and ingenuity resulted not only in addressing the issue but in also in creating jobs in her community as well as gaining recognition in a prestigious international competition. What was the problem and how did she address it?

A common industrial hazardous waste that her previous employer produced after melting aluminum, called dros was being disposed into landfills at soaring costs. No one seemed to be able to figure out how to get rid of it in an environmentally-friendly way.

But Carolina Guerra did. In 2007 she started her own company, Ingerecuperar, which means “engineering recovery.”  The business recovers and recycles hazardous waste in its entirety, and is the first of its kind in her country which is huge, considering Colombia produces 500,000 tons of hazardous waste each year.Within five short years, Ingerecuperar has the only environmental license in Colombia to use aluminum dross in recycling.

Guerra now has 10 full-time employees and in October 2011, she won the prestigious Cartier Women’s Initiative Award for Latin America.The Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards are an international business plan competition created in 2006 by Cartier, the Women’s Forum, McKinsey & Company and INSEAD business school to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs

Read more in-depth about Guerra’s incredible work.

Erin Risner

Director of Community Engagement

Writer. Creative. Brand Strategist. Content Curator. Social Media and Marketing Maven. Passionate about connecting with women around the world and telling their success stories.