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SBA chief tours international trade, research hubs of Institute for Economic Development

Karen Mills

District Director Pamela Sapia (San Antonio district office) and Administrator Karen G. Mills, U.S. Small Business Administration, (right) listen to presentations during a visit to UTSA's Institute for Economic Development. Mills, who heads the U.S. Small Business Administration, was making her first visit to San Antonio.

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(March 4, 2010)--The UTSA Institute for Economic Development recently played host to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Karen G. Mills. Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development, guided Mills through an executive briefing about the Institute for Economic Development in general and two programs in particular -- the Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse (SBDCNet) and SBDC International Trade Center.

"UTSA has a long-standing partnership with SBA to provide educational extension services in our region. Hosting SBA administrator Karen Mills here in the field helps us synchronize our services with Washington in order to meet the ever-evolving needs of small businesses," McKinley said.

SBDCNet Director provided an overview of her program's services. The market research arm for the SBDC community nationwide, SBDCNet has been hosted by the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network at UTSA for 12 years.

Staff provides timely, relevant research toward a mission of "putting big business tools in the hands of small business." Over the last five years, demand for research from the SBDCNet has increased 120 percent, totaling nearly 6,000 requests in FY 2009, Schueneman noted.

The SBDC International Trade Center is one of the largest and most successful trade assistance organizations in Texas. Established in 1992, it provides businesses with high-value trade consulting services, market research and innovative training programs that improve client success. Director Cliff Paredes highlighted several new initiatives, including the Certified Global Business Professional Series and the global trade platform,

This online trade platform will link small business clients among the U.S., Mexico and Colombia SBDC networks. When it launches in spring 2010, the platform will provide clients with access to new domestic and international markets, supplier networks, facilitated business opportunities and one-on-one consulting.

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps millions of potential and existing small business owners every day to start, build and grow their businesses. SBA delivers its services through partnerships with public and private organizations. SBA offers financial assistance through its primary 7(a) Loan Guaranty program and federal procurement opportunities through its 8(a) Business Development program.

In FY 2009, the SBA San Antonio District Office approved 722 loans for $165.8 million under the 7(a) program, 105 loans for $74.1 million under the 504/CDC program and 10 loans for $300,700 under the America's Recovery Capital loan program. Under the 8(a) Business Development program, 422 sole-source federal contracts were awarded to 8(a) firms for a total of $310,438,482.72.

UTSA administers a network of 10 small business development centers comprising the South-West Texas Border SBDC Network in partnership with SBA. In 2009, the network served 26,532 businesses with consulting, training and research services resulting in $482.6 million increased revenues, $89.9 million new financing and investments, and the creation or retention of a combined 7,900 jobs.


The UTSA Institute for Economic Development provides professional business consultation, technical training, research and strategic planning services to help establish and grow small businesses. The institute comprises 10 programs that serve the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international outreach efforts. Together with federal, state and local governments and private businesses, the IED fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA's community engagement mission.



Dec. 1, 9 a.m.

CITE Venture Competition & Exposition

The annual Center for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100K Venture Competition and Exposition will be held on the Main Campus on Dec. 1. Twenty-eight teams from across the university will exhibit their project; six teams will compete for a prize pool of more than $100,000 in funding to launch their new venture / company. More than 650 students have participated in launching new technology ventures.
Biotechnology, Sciences and Engineering (BSE 2.102), Main Campus

Dec. 3, 5:30 p.m.

UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert

This concert features 50 community children performing music in the UTSA Downtown String Project Winter Concert. The children, led by UTSA music students studying to be music teachers, will join together in playing the Theme from Batman at their concert. The Batman of San Antonio, a local celebrity figure, will make an appearance at the concert. This event is free.
Buena Vista Theatre, Downtown Campus

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Did You Know?

UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA's Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

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