UTSA Receives $1.8M in Grants from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs for Continued Economic Development Efforts in Central America

UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development’s International Trade Center is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in the U.S. and has worked with over 20 countries across the Western Hemisphere.

SAN ANTONIO, October 6, 2016 – Through a collaboration with America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) and the Centro Regional de Promoción de la MIPYME (CENPROMYPE), the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development’s International Trade Center received $1.8 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs (WHA) to continue supporting efforts to replicate the U.S. Small Business Development Center (SBDC) model in Central America.

The International Trade Center is leading an SBDC international expansion initiative through their SBDCGlobal program. SBDCGlobal directly stems from President Barack Obama’s 2012 vision for a Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA). The effort is creating a hemisphere-wide network of SBDC programs to assist foreign small businesses start and grow their operations, while also serving as a potential market for the U.S. International Trade Center staff are strengthening economies by advising and training foreign governments on how to build their own SBDC networks.

The grants will fund a three-year project to support efforts in seven Central American countries, promoting the viability and sustainability of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and local and regional economic development. SBDCGlobal’s efforts will increase enterprise growth and job creation by applying the SBDC model to provide business development services to stimulate economic development.

The project will also focus on four areas including the establishment of new SBDCs, particularly in rural or underserved populations; support standardized center accreditation; develop a Central American SBDC association; establish specialty SBDCs focused on international trade and intra-regional trade; and support participating SBDCs and MSMEs with information technology systems to ensure efficient replication and viability of newly established SBDCs.

“We are thankful to the U.S. Department of State and our collaborating partners for this grant, which will allow UTSA to continue serving as a leader in building economies and strengthening communities globally. International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and his team are leading the expansion of the SBDC Network throughout much of Latin America and the Caribbean, growing a valuable distribution network of trading partners,” said Robert McKinley, UTSA Senior Associate Vice President for Economic Development.

Countries benefiting from this grant include Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Belize and Nicaragua, where there are currently 38 operating SBDC’s. The goal of the project is to facilitate the establishment of 10-25 new SBDC’s.

“This grant award is validation of the leadership and results UTSA has already shown in implementing the highly-successful Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) program throughout the hemisphere. Robert McKinley and his team are helping our neighbor nations learn from and replicate economic successes achieved in the United States. The stability and prosperity this development model brings will open up new economic opportunities for the people of Central America for generations to come,” said Congressman Joaquin Castro.

About UTSA’s Institute for Economic Development

The UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) is dedicated to growing businesses, creating jobs, and fostering economic development. The IED focuses on building the economy one business at a time.

The IED consists of 11 centers and programs that provide professional business advising, technical training, research, and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. These programs serve Greater San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with the federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA’s community engagement mission. In 2015 the IED generated direct regional economic impact of 8,251 jobs, started 657 new businesses, $487 million in new financing, $41.5 million in new tax revenue and exceeded $2.1 billion in new sales, exports and contracts. For more information, visit www.iedtexas.org

 

About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the fastest growing higher education institutions in Texas and one of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA serves nearly 29,000 students in 162 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond. For more information, visit www.utsa.edu/today.

Chile opens first of 50 Small Business Development Centers with the guidance of UTSA

The UTSA SBDC International Trade Center is helping strengthen the Chilean economy. This week, Chile opened their first Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Valparaiso, Chile. The center is based on the U.S. SBDC model taught by the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center.

Those in attendance included Chilean President of the Republic, Michelle Bachelet, Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, Luis Felipe Céspedes, U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and UTSA Sr. Associate Vice President for Economic Development, Robert McKinley.

UTSA leads the consulting effort to build a network of small business centers across the hemisphere for economic development and trade, on behalf of the U.S. State Department and Organization of American States. The SBDC model has evolved over 35 years at 1,100 universities and colleges across the U.S. and become an international best practice, with documented business growth results.

“President Jimmy Carter created the first small business development center network almost four decades ago. And that network now serves nearly 1 million small businesses every year, and it creates three new businesses and eight new U.S. jobs every hour,” said U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry. “One of our very best centers is operated by the University of Texas in San Antonio; it is going to be working directly with our Chilean friends in helping to ensure that your centers do exactly the same.”

Under a mandate from President Michelle Bachelet, Chile began implementing the proven SBDC model taught by UTSA. The Centros de Desarrollo de Negocios (CDN) will facilitate and manage operations with the goal of providing quality one-on-one advising services as well as group training and customized market research to small businesses and entrepreneurs by promoting growth, productivity, diversification and innovation among Chilean small businesses.

To date, over 600 Chilean professionals have participated in the SBDC Advisor and Director Certificate Training Program taught by UTSA. Over the next two years, Chile is set to open 50 centers located in all 15 regions of the country. Through 2017 the Chilean partnership will invest approximately $45 million (U.S.) in the program by a combination of public, private, and academic sectors.

“Chile is a believer in the success of the U.S. SBDC model that we have been training countries to adapt to their local market,” said UTSA SBDC International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes. “We are confident that they will maximize the creation of economic impact for small and medium enterprises in Chile and rapidly develop their SBDC network.”

UTSA Partnering with Canadian Consulate to Provide Training on Doing Business in Canada

San Antonio, June 10, 2015 – The International Trade Center, a specialty Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development, is holding Opportunities for Doing Business in Canada, a free, half-day training seminar on June 23, 2015. The event is designed to give US businesses the information they need to expand into markets in Canada.

For this seminar UTSA is partnering with the Consulate General of Canada in Dallas, as well as the US Commercial Service. Speakers include Susan Bincoletto, Chief Trade Commissioner & Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada and Delon Chan Consul and Trade Commissioner, Consulate General of Canada in Dallas.

Topics for this landmark event include:

  • Why Canada is a great place to do business.
  • How your company can benefit in Doing Business in Canada.
  • Canadian market entry strategies.
  • Selling to the Canadian Federal Government.
  • Canadian corporate registration procedures.

“Canada is the second largest export market for Texas businesses, behind Mexico,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the International Trade Center. “In 2014 Canadian Exports represented $31.1 billion; it’s a market that cannot be ignored.”

For registration and information on the event visit http://opportunities-in-canada.eventbrite.com.

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).

UTSA Hosts Delegation of Government Officials from Colombia on a Technical SBDC Training Visit

(sena-visitSan Antonio, May 25, 2015) – The International Trade Center, a specialty Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development (IED), hosted a delegation of officials from the Colombian workforce development agency Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) on a visit to San Antonio on May 11-12, 2014. The visitors saw first hand the operations of the IED and discussed the process of adapting and implementing the US SBDC model in Colombia.

SENA is the largest workforce training and small business assistance network in Colombia. It has 117 locations located throughout Colombia, which serve over 9 million people each year.

SBDCs, established throughout the US 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.

SENA visited UTSA as part of the process of creating a national network of 117 SBDCs in Colombia during 2015 and 2016. The goal of the visit was to learn more about the UTSA Small Business Development Center model and develop an agreement between UTSA and SENA that will provide the necessary consulting, training and guidance for the creation of a national SBDC network in Colombia.

“The visit to the UTSA Institute for Economic Development has allowed us to have an insight into the function and scope of the successful US SBDC model,” said Juan Pablo Castro Morales, Director of Promotions and Corporate Relations, SENA. “The information that was provided to us will enable us to have a better assessment of the impact that the model could have once implemented by SENA on the development of entrepreneurship in Colombia. This visit is the start of negotiations to establish a cooperation agreement with UTSA, that will enable the transfer of the model and deploy of 117 training centers across Colombia.”

This visit is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development’s SBDCGlobal program that, with the support of the US Department of State, has been helping countries to develop US modeled SBDC networks in the Americas since 2003.

“On behalf of UTSA and the Institute for Economic Development we look forward to collaborating with SENA for the creation of a national network of centers based on the SBDC model in Colombia,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the International Trade Center and leader of UTSAs program to develop SBDC networks in the Americas. “This project will assist SENA in continuing its great work in helping entrepreneurs and existing businesses start, grow and in becoming more competitive. The benefit for UTSA and the IED is that we will have a strong partner in Colombia with SENA and their national network of SBDCs that will open new trade and investment opportunities for Texas small businesses. This agreement will be an important milestone in the expansion for the SBDC model internationally and in increasing trade opportunities for clients of the International Trade Center via SBDCGlobal.com.”

Leading the event on behalf of UTSA was: Robert McKinley, UTSA Associate Vice President for Economic Development; Cliff Paredes, International Trade Center, Director; and Mónica Alcoz, International Trade Center Senior International Business Advisor. Representing SENA on the visit was: María Andrea Nieto Romero, Director of Employment and Labor; Andrés Bautista Cabanillas, Employment and Labor Advisor; Carlos Arturo Gamba Castillo, Business Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur Fund National Coordinator; Andrés Felipe Rey, Entrepreneur Fund National Coordinator; Omar Rolando Avila Torres, SME National Coordinator; William Daza Nieto, Technical Support Professional Leader; Juan Pablo Castro Morales, Director of Promotions and Corporate Relations.

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 advising, 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 http://www.sbdcglobal.com/index.php/us/international-sbdc.html. For photos of the delegation, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/texastrade/sets/72157652216772179.

UTSA International Trade Center Client Awarded Presidents Export Award

(San Antonio, May 19, 2015) – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker presented Bespoke Group LLC with the President’s “E” Award for Exports at a ceremony yesterday in Washington, DC. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports.

“The President’s ‘E’ Award winners are outstanding American businesses and organizations that have played a crucial role in strengthening and growing our economy through increased U.S. exports,” said Secretary Pritzker. “By selling Made-in-America goods and services internationally, winners are creating jobs in Texas & Montana and their local communities. Congratulations to Bespoke Group LLC. Exports are critical to our nation’s competitiveness in the global marketplace and solidify our country’s economic leadership across the globe.”

Bespoke Group LLC is a processor & exporter of US Pulse Crops. These Pulse Crops are known as Dry Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas & Beans.

Doug Smith, Assistant Director of International Trade Center — a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development (IED) – has been actively providing international business assistance and advising since 2009. Smith provided advice and market research that enabled Bespoke to make strategic decisions on the best path to international expansion. As a result of its ongoing relationship with The International Trade Center, the company’s export sales have increased by approximately 56% percent.

Dallas based entrepreneur Mr. Divyesh Patel is key impact creator in this contribution to the US economy. Under his leadership and vision, Bespoke Group LLC created ‘From US Farms to World Market supply chain facilitating not only American farmers but also consumers of India who are able to enjoy high quality Pulses (Legumes) in their diet.

Exporting continues to be the foundation of our sales growth, and we are honored to receive the President’s “E” Award said Mr. Divyesh Patel who is CEO of the company.

U.S. exports of goods and services hit an all-time record of $2.34 trillion in 2014, accounting for 13.4 percent of U.S. GDP, compared to 7.5 percent 30 years ago. Nationally, jobs supported by exports reached an all-time high last year with more than 11.7 million jobs, up 1.8 million since 2009.

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 Bespoke Group LLC, visit: http://texastrade.org/success-stories/242-bespoke-group-llc-success-story.

UTSA to Host Delegation of Government Officials from Paraguay on a Technical SBDC Training Visit

San Antonio, April 24, 2014 – The International Trade Center, a specialty Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development, announced today that it will host a delegation of officials from Paraguay on a visit San Antonio April 27-28, 2014. The visitors will be here to begin the process of adapting and implementing the US SBDC Model in Paraguay.

SBDCs, established throughout the US 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 emerging SBDC Network project in Paraguay is being lead in-country by the Ministerio de Industria y Comercio de Paraguay (Paraguay Ministry of Industry and Commerce) with the support of the the Parque Tecnológico de Itaipu, Paraguay (Itaipu Paraguay Technology Park). Representing the Parque Tecnológico will be Director Myrian Torres de Segovia, and Project Management Coordinator Carolina Echague. Representing UTSA, and leading the visit, will be Associate Vice President for Economic Development Robert McKinley, International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes, and Senior International Business Advisor and country project lead Monica Alcoz.

Parque Tecnológico de Itaipu, Paraguay is home to one of the world’s largest hydroelectric dams, and as such is a technology and business hub for Paraguay and the region.

This visit is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development’s SBDCGlobal program that, with the support of the US Department of State, has been helping countries to develop US modeled SBDC networks in the Americas since 2003.

“We are looking forward to sitting down with our colleagues from Paraguay and getting the basic building blocks in place for transferring the US SBDC methodology to support Paraguay’s SME’s,” said Paredes. “Parque Tecnológico de Itaipu will provide an excellent infrastructure for building SBDCs, and the assistance of the Ministry will make the project a sure success.”

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 http://www.sbdcglobal.com/index.php/us/international-sbdc.html.

UTSA participates in the launch of the pilot Small Business Development Center program in Barbados

San Antonio, April 17, 2015 – The International Trade Center, an SBDC at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development, participated in the launch of the pilot Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program in Barbados on April 10th, 2015.

SBDCs, established throughout the US 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 not limited to, feasibility studies, business strategy, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The Centers support new and existing businesses.

The project to adapt and implement the US SBDC model in Barbados started in 2012 and is being implemented in other countries in the Caribbean, including Jamaica, St. Lucia, Belize and Dominica. The Ministry of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development is leading the implementation of the SBDC program in Barbados, and will launch two pilot centers located at the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and the Youth Business Scheme (YES).

Representing UTSA at the event was South-West Texas Border SBDC Network Director Albert Salgado.

“The SBDC model brings unique best practices to Barbados by focusing on one-on-one, long-term assistance that helps MSMEs generate economic impact through the creation of new businesses, assisting existing businesses access capital, increase sales, and exports,” said Salgado. “The results lead to job creation and significant contributions to the overall economy. Also, the SBDC model promotes a result-oriented culture that is evaluated in terms of impact generated by professionals working with MSME clients. The model leverages University and public-private sector resources developing a collaborative eco-system that grows and sustains small businesses throughout the Western Hemisphere; and promotes business and trade linkages among clients of different centers using tools such as SBDCGlobal.com.”

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 http://www.sbdcglobal.com/index.php/us/international-sbdc.html.

UTSA Completes Training Program for US Small Business Development Center Advisors

San Antonio, April 13, 2015 – The International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development, announced today that through their SBDCGlobal.com program, they have completed the 2015 SBDC Trade Advisor Certification four-module training series.

Started as an annual webinar training series in 2012, the SBDCGlobal.com Trade Advisor Certification Series is designed for small business advisors working in the US SBDC network. It provides a solid foundation of knowledge to begin or continue to successfully assist clients in international trade activities. The completion of all four modules, including assigned casework and a final case study to be reviewed by International Trade Center Staff, will grant attendees a SBDCGlobal.com Trade Advisor Certificate.

Topics for the series included: skills that SBDC advisors need in order to build a client base that will allow them to create economic impact; how to structure the advising engagement for maximum results; the details of working with international trade market research and data analysis; how to present results to clients and keep a client base; and concluded with an export client case study that attendees had to work on. The 2015 series trained 77 SBDC advisors from 54 centers in the US.

UTSA International Trade Center Assistant Director Doug Smith and Senior. International Business Advisor Alberto Rodriguez-Baez, conducted the training February 25 through April 8.

“The Trade Advisor Certification Series is a standard-setting training that provides our colleagues in other SBDCs foundational and specialized trade consulting knowledge”, said Alberto Rodriguez-Baez, Sr. International Business Advisor. “We designed our International Trade Advising guidelines based on our own successful consulting principles and private sector advising best practices, in a manner that can be transferred onto other SBDCs. It’s so exciting to see SBDCs around the country using our trade consulting know-how to assist small and medium businesses in their communities”, added Rodriguez-Baez.

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 SBDC Advisor Trade Certification Series, visit http://www.sbdcglobal.com/index.php/us/advisor-training-2/advisor-certification-series.html.

UTSA to Participate in Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) of the US Annual Conference

San Antonio, April 10, 2015 – The International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development, announced today that they will participate in the Ex-Im Bank 2015 Annual Conference April 22–24 in Washington DC.

The Ex-Im Bank is a government agency which provides a variety of loan, guarantee, and insurance products intended to aid the export of American goods and services. The mission of the Bank is to create and sustain US jobs by financing sales US exports to international buyers. The International Trade Center works with Ex-Im to help expand export opportunities to area businesses as a City/State Partner.

At the conference, the International Trade Center will be working with other Ex-Im City/State Partners on a new marketing campaign that will be released in the near future in support of Ex-Im services. Our staff will attend various informational sessions at the event to learn in depth about the Ex-Im products and services in order to better assist businesses in the South-West Texas border region with export finance.

UTSA International Trade Center Senior International Business Advisors Berenice Carmona and Jaime Martinez will represent UTSA at the event.

“Being an Ex-Im City/State Partner helps us at the International Trade Center to best position ourselves to assist our clients with export readiness,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the International Trade Center. “I have great expectations that our staff will bring back crtical information that will help our clients expand into new markets and build the regional economy through international trade.”

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 Ex-Im Bank 2015 Annual Conference, visit: http://www.exim.gov/newsandevents/events/annualconference/2015/

UTSA to Present at the NASBITE International Conference

San Antonio, April 08, 2015 – The International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development, announced today that they will participate in the 2015 NASBITE International Conference on April 15-17 in St. Louis, MO.

NASBITE International is an organization that promotes international business practices, education and training through its annual conferences, newsletters and the Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) exam. The International Trade Center was the first SBDC to train business professionals in test preparation for the CGBP exam. The conference is attended by professionals involved in international trade in the US and abroad.

UTSA will hold two presentations at the event. Senior International Business Advisor Alberto Rodriguez-Baez will present “Keeping and Growing your International Distributors: Lightning Bug or Lightning?” SBDCGlobal.com Site Specialist Carla Cardenas will present on the SBDCGlobal.com online trade platform and how it can be a valuable tool to international businesses. International Trade Center Assistant Director Doug Smith will also be in attendance at the event.

“We are honored to have two staff members presenting at this prestigious international business event,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the International Trade Center. “We have been involved with NASBITE through the CGBP credential and the annual conferences for a number of years, and are pleased to be keeping our connection alive in 2015.”

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 NASBITE International Conference, visit: http://www.nasbite.org/?2015_Conference

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