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UTSA to Complete SBDC Certificate Training in Medellin and Barranquilla, Colombia

San Antonio, October 20, 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 complete its four-module Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Advisor and Director Certificate Training in the cities of Medellin and Barranquilla, Colombia. The program will help establish SBDCs throughout the country to support business owners and entrepreneurs in Colombia.

The economy of Colombia is the third largest in Central and South America and is poised to be a leading trade partner with the US since the US-Colombia Free Trade Agreement went into effect in May of 2012 which has eliminated tariffs and other barriers to bilateral trade. Both Medellin and Barranquilla are top Colombian industrial cities and have strong cultures of entrepreneurship cultures, which will benefit their ability to adopt the US SBDC model.

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 goal of the SBDC Advisor and Director Certificate Training is to transfer the SBDC model methodology and train professionals on how to manage and operate an economic impact-producing SBDC and to connect and promote trade between small businesses in both countries and with the rest of the Americas and the Caribbean. This training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development’s International SBDC Global Initiative that since 2003, with the support of the U.S. government, has been helping countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks in the Americas.

UTSA International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and International Business Advisor Barbara Mooney will conduct UTSA’s Advisor and Director Certificate Training in Medellin October 23-24; Senior International Business Advisor Julio Garcia de las Mestas and Barbara Mooney will conduct the training in Barranquilla, October 28-29.

“Once we complete the SBDC training in Medellin and Barranquilla, we will have performed this training in four different Colombian cities,” said Cliff Paredes, Director of the UTSA International Trade Center who leads UTSA’s program that has developed and administers this training. “Helping Colombia to build the small and medium-sized business sector will have enormous benefits for US companies who do business internationally and are looking for new markets. The economy of Colombia is growing and their capacity for importing and exporting is growing too.”

At the conclusion of these final trainings event more than 200 attendees, most of whom will go on to be SBDC Directors or Advisors in Colombia, will be awarded certificates by UTSA representatives.

This project is part of the South America Partnership Program, a collaborative partnership of the Higher Education for Development (HED), and UTSA, which was developed to create SBDC networks in South America, and connect them to that of the U.S., Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The project is funded by the U.S. Department of State Pathways for Prosperity initiative.

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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