UTSA International Trade Center completes Honduras small-business training

training in Honduras

Presenters for training module 1: From left are Minerva Garcia (International Trade Center), Alejandrina de Lemus (CONAMYPE) and Cliff Paredes (International Trade Center).

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(Sept. 5, 2013) -- The International Trade Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development conducted a four-part Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, at the Universidad Tecnologica de Honduras (UTH). The SBDC training was led by Cliff Paredes, International Trade Center director, and Minerva Garcia, international business consultant.

The Sept. 4-5 training sessions concluded with participants receiving SBDC training certificates at a graduation ceremony. It is the second SBDC training session that the International Trade Center has completed in Honduras.

SBDCs, established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with state governments and 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 strategies, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.

Through the SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training, participants have learned about the U.S. SBDC model and methodology. Individual training modules focused on SBDC business advising best practices, the role of specialty SBDCs (like those focused on international trade), as well as real-world and practical development of an operational plan to guide future counselors and directors on how to manage an SBDC, personnel and funding. This training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development's International SBDC Expansion Initiative that has helped countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks since 2003.

"This second SBDC certificate training is the result of the solid commitment and progress made by the Honduras Secretary of Industry and Commerce in implementing the SBDC model in the country," said Paredes. "It also demonstrates value of training additional professionals and key MSME stakeholders in the developing Honduras SBDC network."

Approximately 120 participants completed the Certificate Training. Leading the SBDC implementation in Honduras were Jose Adonis Lavaire, Honduran minister of industry and commerce, and Carlos Gunther Lainez, Honduran vice minister of industry and commerce, among other public and private stakeholders.

Three centers have already been launched in Honduras, and in the coming months, three additional SBDCs will be launched in Santa Rosa de Copan, Tegucigalpa and Ceiba. The launch of the centers and the preceding training program were developed under the Central American and Dominican Republic Partnership Program, a collaborative partnership of Higher Education for Development (HED), UTSA and CENPROMYPE, developed to create SBDC networks in Central America and the Dominican Republic and funded by the U.S. Department of State Pathways for Prosperity initiative.

The new SBDCs in Honduras will be connected with the expanding SBDC Network in the Americas through the online trade platform SBDCGlobal.com, where small business clients can find international trade opportunities for growth.

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 them on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like them on Facebook (Facebook.com/texastrade).

For more information on the project, visit the SBDCglobal.com website. (At the right, under Special Projects, select International SBDC Expansion Initiative.)