(March 2, 2012) -- On Feb. 24, Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development, helped launch in Washington, D.C., a new international small business development center initiative. The Caribbean Small Business Development Center (SBDC) project is modeled on similar SBDC programs in the United States.
The initiative partners the Organization of the American States, the U.S. Department of State Mission to the OAS and the Caribbean Export Development Agency with the UTSA Small Business Development Center programs.
At the ceremony, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin, U.S. permanent representative to the regional body, announced a U.S. grant of $960,000 to fund the launch. The project will create a network of sustainable and successful small business assistance networks in Saint Lucia, Dominica, Belize, Jamaica and Barbados.
The newly created network of Caribbean small business development centers will be linked with similar existing programs throughout the United States, Mexico, Colombia and Central America to share best practices and promote cooperation and support productivity and sustainable economic growth.
Under the leadership of McKinley, UTSA has demonstrated deep commitment to and successful in expending the proven SBDC model throughout Latin America. Beginning with Mexico in the 1990s, UTSA helped launch 104 SBDC programs in Mexico, 10 in El Salvador, two in Colombia, and is in the process of standing up SBDC model programs in the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama.
UTSA's SBDC programs are part of an 1,100-member network, the Association for Small Business Development Centers, in the United States and its territories. The SBDC programs headquartered at UTSA served more than 29,000 entrepreneurs in 2011, helping to create or retain more than 7,000 jobs.
In remarks at the ceremony, McKinley noted that the SBDC program "has been successful in the United States for the past 35 years" as a partnership between the government, the universities and the private sector that work on business development to provide services in business training, counseling, technology assistance and research.
According to McKinley, the long-term goal is to form an inter-American network of small business development programs with two strategic purposes: development and trade with especial emphasis in women entrepreneurs. "The Caribbean must not be left out, as the region can benefit greatly from this initiative," he said.
José Miguel Insulza, OAS secretary general, said Caribbean and Latin American countries "have long recognized the importance of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as major contributors to employment and growth within their communities, nations and the region as a whole" and "despite the important challenges the sector faces, it accounts for 70 percent of the jobs and more than 50 percent of GDP in the region."
UTSA prides itself on giving students a well-rounded education. Combining a top-tier academic program with opportunities for personal growth prepares students to compete in a global economy. And that's not all. They learn to be informed and engaged citizens as well. At the heart of that academic program is an award-winning core curriculum.
For four consecutive years, UTSA has received an A-rating from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for the caliber of its core curriculum. According to ACTA, UTSA requires its students to take six of the seven courses deemed "crucial" to a well-rounded education: composition, literature, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics and science. Only a handful of other institutions in the U.S. are giving students these tools, which are needed to succeed in careers and the community.
Did you know? UTSA is one of only three Texas institutions and 23 in the United States to receive the highest rating for its core curriculum in the 2014-2015 edition of the ACTA's "What Will They Learn?" report.
Cheer on the UTSA Roadrunners at their home-opener against the Kansas State Wildcats.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St.
As part of National Recovery Month, a panel of substance abuse practitioners and members of the recovery community will discuss issues related to substance abuse treatment and recovery.
Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus
Love of theater, history leads Lee grad to pursue anthropology degree
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.