UTSA International Trade Center hosts Central and South American SBDC delegation

SBDC delegation

Small-business professionals from Central and South America meet with UTSA International Trade Center staff.
>> View a photo gallery of the visiting delegation at the UTSA International Trade Center.

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(July 10, 2014) -- This week, the International Trade Center, a small business development center in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, is hosting a delegation of high-level government officials and business development professionals representing several Central and South American countries.

Center administrators are leading the guests in observing SBDC operations. Additionally, they will travel with the delegation to Washington, D.C., where they will learn about network administration, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) policy creation and program oversight.

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 strategies, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.

The delegations from Chile, Colombia and Peru will observe the operations of SBDCs and other centers at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. They will learn how the U.S. SBDC model works by viewing presentations on the business advising services, training programs, client presentations, and participating in other stakeholder meetings.

The delegations will join other delegates from Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama in Washington, where they will meet leaders of the Small Business Administration (SBA), State Department, and the Senate and House Small Business Committee to learn about SBDC network administration, MSME policy creation and program oversight.

The training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development SBDCGlobal program that, with the support of the Department of State, has helped countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks in the Americas since 2003.

"This visit is bringing together countries in which we are already working to help transfer the U.S. SBDC model of business development, and those in the beginning phases of signing on to our training program to dig into the day-to-day activities of SBDC business development," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "We expect the delegates to get a lot out of the various presentations in San Antonio and D.C., and have an opportunity to share experience and resources with each other."

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.

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

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