From victim of forced displacement to stove businessman

A company that manufactures eco-efficient stoves, with a history of ten years, began with a capital of $1 million 500 thousand, money given by the National Government for the victims of the armed conflict, the owner suffered from forced displacement. This is an example that it is better to invest the money, a message aimed especially at people who received state aid.

This business project was strengthened in the ‘entrepreneur fund’ of the National Learning Service (SENA), where the advice and training route continues, where a business idea is presented.

Incorporated company

In this sense, Nelson Rojas, who is the owner of the Ecoeficientes Metalcof stove company, was invited to the delivery of letters carried out in Neiva by the Victims Unit, with the aim of making his testimony known.

Diario del Huila spoke with the businessman, who pointed out: “I have a company from Huila, which was created with the help of the Emprender fund. We already have a track record of ten years, producing eco-efficient stoves at a national and soon international level.”

The former victim added that she learned that the bigger the problem, the greater the opportunity. “Today we have more than 50 products that positively mitigate the health of families in the rural sector, dignifying people’s lives and contributing to the environment.”

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The materialization of the idea

In this sense, the company was born in November 2003. “Creating a business in Colombia is not easy, it is complicated, because many policies do not initially support the microentrepreneur, mainly the financial sector. No bank has lent me money,” added the manager.

The businessman pointed out that in this type of situation, the important thing is to know how to invest and make responsible use of the resources available.

“I started my project with $1 million 500 thousand, from then on I had contacts, we created new products. My company is clearly from Huila and we are located in Neiva on Carrera 5 #18 sur 33. With our products we generate social and environmental impact.”

According to the manager, eco-efficient stoves reduce environmental pollution, because they consume up to 70% less firewood and reduce the production of carbon dioxide by 80%.

“We dignify the home with a functional and healthy product, because it allows us to reduce smoke in kitchen environments, we also improve the quality of life of our farmers and we have the patent for the generation of thermal energy, through the stove, where the We convert caloric energy into electrical energy,” declared the entrepreneur.

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The maturation of the idea

For her part, Ximena Santacruz, former Sena official, who accompanied this project, pointed out. “There is the Emprender fund, which is a source of financing to strengthen projects, where citizens can approach and express their intention to enter, they continue with the route they have defined and present the business plan.”

“He came with the idea, he had to strengthen it with innovation, because we had to enter the market with something different and thanks to that, he began the process of co-creation and improvement of the plan,” said the now Innpulsa-Colombia official.

After having a clear idea, they can approach and request advice. “What you do is identify, what do they have? and based on that begin to formulate the business plan. Yes, it starts jointly, because they have to look for the information,” the official pointed out.

“Saying yes can be done”

Already a businessman, Nelson indicated that he likes to share his story with other people. “I am happy to say, yes we can move forward, the only thing is to change the ‘chip’ that we have in our heads, to not feel victimized anymore, the country must contribute to peace and how we can do it, from our own lives” .

It is important to organize life, then look for a way to generate employment, declared the manager.

“The first thing you should do is know what problem there is, and how can I solve it? that without a doubt the idea arises,” highlighted the manager.

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First time he was forced out

“I was a victim of the armed conflict on two occasions. The first event occurred in 1998, at that time I was living in the municipality of Villa del Rosario, Norte de Santander, and because of the conflict I had to leave and return to my native department, which is Huila,” he said. businessman.

And the second case of which he was a victim was due to the complaints he had filed. “Several State entities were involved there and today everyone knows that the reported things happened, but this is a page that has already passed. I had to leave Neiva in exile to another country,” said Nelson Rojas.

He spent two years outside the country, and tired of the situation, he made the decision to return to Colombia.

“Being abroad (foreign) is complicated, it is difficult to be far from family, from traditions, I decided that it was better to return to my country and face the situation. One often runs away from problems, but it is better to show your face and when I arrived it made me very happy, there were mixed feelings, knowing that I could be reunited with my loved ones,” said the former victim.

Now the victim is a reference in resilience and an example for others that if they invest the money given by the state well, they can have a decent life.

Victims received compensation

And regarding the day carried out in Neiva to deliver compensation, Lesdy Marlody Rodríguez, territorial director of the Victims Unit in Caquetá, Huila and Putumayo, said: “today we are closing with the delivery of 385 letters for a value close to $3,567 million, which correspond to letters from people located in the municipalities of Neiva, Pitalito Garzón, La Plata and Gigante.”

Likewise, the official added, when we deliver the compensation measure, in a certain way, humanitarian aid is no longer continued to be received, since it is delivered to a population in a vulnerable situation.

“What the compensation measure seeks is to invest this economic resource well and overcome unworthy acts,” highlighted the director.

Invest the conversation well!

And according to Resolution 1049, there are three population groups that the National Government is giving priority to and among them are: “we are already breaking records in terms of compensation and we give importance to people aged 68 or older.” , who is in a situation of disability and with painful, noisy or catastrophic illnesses. We call this strategy ‘Priority Route,’” the directive indicated.

And people who do not have these aspects are on the ‘General Route’ and must wait for the administrative measure.

And when asked about advice to victims so that they invest the money well, the director expressed. “We have a process called adequate investment of the resource and from space what we do is provide tools so that people invest money appropriately.”

Officials from Colpensiones, Sena, real estate officials among other entities that advise victims on money management arrived at the event.

The executive added that they have had numerous complaints of fraud, we have found, processors, unscrupulous people, apparently provide their ‘services’ and they only hope to access high percentages of the compensation and the procedures have no cost. “The invitation is to report cases, where they are asking you for money to carry out any procedure.”

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