Institute for Economic Development

San Antonio's opportunities expand with pilot program

To boost trade growth in San Antonio and economic development in Honduras, UTSA hosted a training program to transfer its Small Business Development Center model to that Central American country.

A team from UTSA's International Trade Center completed a four-month SBDC Diplomado training program in July, and as a result, the Honduras secretary of industry and commerce announced the establishment of the first two pilot SBDCs in the Golfo de Fonseca and Olancho regions. Six regional SBDCs are expected to open across the country by year's end.

"Small business trade growth is the low-hanging fruit for economic development at home and abroad," said Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development. "UTSA's global presence and leadership fulfills our mission of community service and creates job opportunities for our graduates by expanding the San Antonio regional economy."

As part of President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas initiative, the State Department asked UTSA to help establish SBDC networks in developing countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Building SBDC networks internationally will expand trade growth opportunities among all SBDC clients, whether in the United States or international.

Last year, the UTSA International Trade Center helped San Antonio-area clients add $210 million in new trade growth, primarily through partner agencies in Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia.