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SBDC Delegation from Colombia and Mexico to Visit UTSA

INTERNATIONAL TRADE CENTER TO LEAD STAKEHOLDER VISITS TO SAN ANTONIO

San Antonio, November 14, 2014 – The International Trade Center, an SBDC at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development, announced today that it will host an international delegation of high-level government officials and SBDC directors and advisors from Colombia and Mexico on a visit to San Antonio to observe first-hand SBDC operations November 19-20, 2014.

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.

Delegations from Colombia and Mexico will be in San Antonio to observe the operations of SBDCs and other centers at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. They will learn first-hand how the US SBDC model works with presentations on the business advising services, training programs, SBDC management, client management, and other topics related to running a successful SBDC as well as how the federal government creates the legal and policy framework, structures, funds and conducts oversight of the SBDC network.

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.

“Mexico was the first country in which we began our work to expand the SBDC model beyond the US, and has been an amazing testing ground for our program,” said Julio Garcia de las Mestas, Senior International Business Advisor and lead on UTSA’s Mexico SBDC project. “Combining a visit from Mexico, a country with a long history with the SBDC model of business development, with a visit from Colombia, who came into the fold in the last couple of years, will allow both countries to gain from their diverse experiences.”

Since UTSA began working with Mexico to adapt the SBDC model, Mexican institutions of higher education have created 118 centers, formed the Mexican Association of SBDCs (AMCDPE), and have had over 1,300 SBDC counselors and directors trained through continued engagement with UTSA. The AMCDPE has hit a milestone this year of attaining federal funding through the Mexican Small Business Agency (INADEM) in the form of a contract to create 5 new pilot centers. Delegates from the AMCDPE will participate in the visit.

UTSA began working with Colombia in 2013 and has since completed training in 4 different cities resulting in 2 currently operating SBDCs and upward of 14 in the development phase. Future trainings for Colombia are in the planning stage.

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.

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