South-West Texas Border SBDC's are Open for Business ** Details

UTSA Completes 2 Day Training in Dominican Republic and Attends Launch of Countries First SBDC

San Antonio, February 16, 2015 – The International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development, announced today that two UTSA staff members travelled to the Dominican Republic February 9-13 to perform SBDC training and attend a public ceremony for the launch of the first SBDC in the country.

SBDCs, established throughout the U.S. 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 free and confidential 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 launch of the SBDC is the result of training that UTSA has provided to transfer the SBDC model methodology and teach professionals how to manage and operate economic impact-producing SBDCs. The ultimate goal of this work is to connect and promote trade between small businesses with the rest of the Americas and the Caribbean. This training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development’s SBDCGlobal program that since 2003, with the support of the U.S. government has been helping countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks in the Americas.

February 9-10, UTSA International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and Global SBDC Instructional Coordinator Minerva Garcia completed a two-day SBDC model training for the staff of the six SBDC pilot centers that will open during February and March. The team visited three of the pilot centers on February 11 to tour the facilities and discuss with staff their operational plans.

UTSA staff attended the launch of Centro PYMES Instituto Superior de Agricultura (ISA),– a new center in Santiago de los Caballeros on February 12. The ceremony was attended by Dominican officials including Ignacio Mendez Fernández, Viceminister for Small and Medium Enterprise Development; Aura Toribio, Governor of Santiago; and Benito A. Ferreiras, President of ISA.

“These business development professionals in the Dominican Republic are doing what it takes to launch SBDCs that will produce economic impact and improve the local economies,” said Paredes. “Between now and March 10, they are launching 6 centers at different Universities across the country that will be in a great position to help businesses.”

Next step for the Dominican Republic will be to set up a formal national network of SBDCs that successfully operate, assist clients and produce results.

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 on the project, visit

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