UTSA conducts first SBDC counselor and director training in Guatemala

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Guatamala City, Guatemala, and nearby volcanoes
(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

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(Oct. 16, 2012) -- The International Trade Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development announced it will offer its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The program will help Guatemala establish SBDCs throughout the country to support Guatemalan business owners and entrepreneurs.

SBDCs, established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with universities and colleges, assist entrepreneurs and business owners in establishing and growing their businesses through a free and confidential suite of advising services. Services include, but are not limited to, feasibility studies, business strategy, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.

The goal of the SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training is to transfer the SBDC model methodology and train professionals on how to manage and operate an economic impact-producing SBDC. This training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development's International SBDC Expansion Initiative that, with the support of the U.S. Department of State, has been helping countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks since 2003.

International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and International Business Consultant Barbara Mooney will conduct UTSA's Counselor and Director Certificate Training, which will be offered in four parts.

"We are excited to begin formally working with the Guatemalan government and people to transfer a very powerful method of economic development: the U.S. Small Business Development Center model," said Paredes. "The work we are doing here will help Guatemala's economy and will help progress President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas Initiative."

Sigfrido Lee, vice minister of economy for Guatemala, will participate, as will Rafael Ortiz from CONAMYPE (Comisión Nacional de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa, El Salvador). They will discuss how they successfully completed the training and developed their own network of SBDCs to assist small and medium-sized businesses. Representatives from the public, private and academic sectors also will participate.

For more information, visit the SBDC Global website.

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The International Trade Center at UTSA is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. It helps companies become globally competitive through technical trade consulting, customized market research and innovative training programs. The center is a specialty SBDC program in the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network. Follow us on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like us on Facebook.