Cuban entrepreneurs go on a Safari for their dreams

Who hasn’t ever wanted to go on a safari? Several Cuban entrepreneurs and their guests were lucky enough to enjoy this experience on Saturday, December 4, with an afternoon of Safari Creativo (Creative Safari) organized by Beyond Roots, a brand that seeks to rescue, empower and promote Afro-Cuban culture.

The event celebrated female entrepreneurship, sustainable fashion and responsible consumption, objectives combined in the presentation and auction of the Resiliencia (Resilience) dress, a unique piece made from recycled materials, which saw its artistic value increase after attendees filled it with color by stamping their fingerprints on it. 

However, one of the most anticipated moments was the Afro Safari runway show, the first of its kind for Beyond Roots, presented by brand leader Adriana Heredia. In her introductory remarks to the show, Adriana celebrated the five years of Beyond Roots and explained that after the uncertain times they have lived through, “Safari evokes adventure, freedom, diversity, innovation, and precisely those are the concepts that inspire this collection. To allow people to dream.”

Those of us who attended the Safari experience could appreciate its movement, its colorfulness that makes an impact, and a multiplicity of pieces designed to be combined according to time, occasion and body type. In a few words, Safari is beauty made dresses.

Speaking to Negolution, Adriana Heredia commented in depth on how for the organizers, promoting female entrepreneurship is “a super important way to reduce gender gaps. We want to see more women empowered and economically independent, because it also contributes to the fight against gender violence.”

She also emphasized responsible consumption as a way of “creating awareness among our customers that their purchasing decisions can determine the promotion of certain social values, such as the use of local or environmentally sustainable products. To the extent that this culture of consuming these types of goods is created in the population, we will move towards much more sustainable production practices.”

The afternoon experience of Safari Creativo was completed with the work of three other ventures: Anda Publicitaria, Ciclo Ecopapel and Oasis Nelva. The latter delighted attendees with four themed tapas and three signature cocktails made with Havana Club Profundo that highlighted traditional and popular Cuban elements. In this way, a network of support was forged between enterprises to move towards a new phase in their respective developments. 

All the atmosphere experienced that afternoon was captured in a painting created by Cienfuegos visual artist Santiago Hermes, founder of the Trazos Libres project – a work of art that was donated. In addition, a collaboration was established between two new ventures, Agua de Marzo and Hilos de Vicky, which makes this type of space ideal for networking and the development of innovative projects.   

The event also served to position important concepts within the current scenario. According to Adriana Heredia, fundraising in the private sector serves to “dismantle the stigma that all entrepreneurs, despite being successful, have sufficient resources to grow,” especially in a difficult period for everyone. Therefore, with the auction “we are calling on the community to not only enjoy, but also to contribute in solidarity to what we are building.”    

The funds raised, both from attendance and from the auction, will be used to scale up and/or reopen the four enterprises in activities such as repairing and maintaining equipment, obtaining supplies to diversify their offers and contracting feasibility study services to reformulate their management models.

Safari Creativo also meant showcasing creative industries in order to dynamize entrepreneurship in Cuba. Seeing four women from completely different areas come together to create a unique and income-generating event was a sign of resilience and broad capacity to innovate, create and collaborate.  

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