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

UTSA Hosts Visit from Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs


prochile-visitSan Antonio, November 12, 2014 – The International Trade Center, an SBDC at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development, hosted a delegation of officials from ProChile, the export promotion arm of the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a visit San Antonio to observe first-hand SBDC operations November 3-4, 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.

Ignacio Fernández, Assistant Director, and Cynthia Carrasco, Chief of Operations, from ProChile came to San Antonio to observe the operations of SBDCs and other centers at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. Robert McKinley, UTSA Associate VP for Economic Development, Cliff Paredes, Director and Monica Alcoz, Senior International Business Advisor for the International Trade Center led the visit. The ProChile visitors learned first-hand how the US SBDC model works through presentations on the business advising services, training programs, SBDC management, client management, and other topics related to running a successful SBDC. Additionally presentationas were made on how the federal government creates the legal and policy framework, structures, funds and conducts oversight of the SBDC network. There was special attention in this visit given to topics of international trade and export.

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.

“Chile is currently engaged in our SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the International Trade Center. “Through this visit, ProChile has been able to see a more detailed picture of the potential for SBDCs to promote national export success as well as how to tie international trade and domestic business assistance together to create a more powerful economic engine for growth.”

Photos from the visit can be found on the International Trade Center Flickr page:

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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