In partnership with the magazine Semana, the USAID-funded Afro-Colombian and Indigenous Program (ACIP) supported the Quibdó Festival Detonante, a three-day event in December that served as an opportunity to flaunt the cultural wealth of Quibdó as well as highlight growing community and business initiatives. These initiatives contribute to the sustainable growth of a city whose reputation for corruption and poverty has long repelled investors from the region.

Photo courtesy of El Colombiano

One of the most notable participants of the festival was Arturo Calle, founder of one of the largest (and eponymous) Colombian clothing chains. Calle met with representatives from Invest in Chocó, the ACIP-supported investment promotion agency, to explore investment opportunities. As an outcome of his visit, Calle made concrete plans to bring a chain of his clothing store to Quibdó and rented four stores in the city’s new shopping center, which is expected to open in September 2016. Additionally, Calle offered advice and tips from his own experiences in an inspirational talk with 60 Afro-Colombian cultural entrepreneurs.

“In my tour of Quibdó, I’ve met many great entrepreneurs with a lot of energy and desire to move forward. I believe that they need our support to grow their projects so that they go beyond providing a small monthly salary. For example, the new shopping centers are an extremely positive development since they will attract investment and generate employment.”—Arturo Calle as quoted in El Colombiano.

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