UTSA completes SBDC counselor and director training in Dominican Republic

training in Dominican Republic

SBDC training in Dominican Republic

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(Oct. 14, 2013) -- The International Trade Center at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development will complete its four-module Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in the Dominican Republic on Oct. 15-16. The program will help establish SBDCs throughout the country to support business owners and entrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic.

The Dominican Republic is the second largest nation in the Caribbean, and along with Haiti, is on the island of Hispaniola.

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 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. The training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development International SBDC Expansion Initiative that, with the support of the U.S. government, has been helping countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks in the Americas since 2003.

UTSA International Trade Center Global SBDC Instructional Coordinator Minerva Garcia will conduct the certificate training, accompanied by Al Salgado, director of the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network.

"The rigorous training program that we have developed to present to these future SBDC professionals contains best practice for setting up and running U.S. modeled SBDCs," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "It is based on the experience and success of the more than 1,000 centers operating in the U.S. today."

At the conclusion of this final training event, more than 100 attendees, most of whom will go on to be SBDC directors or consultants in the Dominican Republic, will be awarded certificates by UTSA staff as well as José Del Castillo Saviñón, Dominican Republic minister of industry and commerce, and Ignacio Méndez Fernández, Dominican Republic vice minister of SME, who also will be in attendance to support the training.

The Dominican Republic Ministry of Industry and Commerce plans to launch two pilot centers based on the model presented by UTSA. One center is slated to open in Santo Domingo and the other in Santiago de los Caballeros.

The project is part of the Central American and Dominican Republic Partnership program, a collaborative partnership of Higher Education for Development (HED), UTSA and CENPROMYPE, which was developed to create SBDC networks in Central America and the Dominican Republic. It is funded by the U.S. Department of State Pathways for Prosperity initiative.

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.

For more information about the project, visit the SBDC Global website.