(Sept. 14, 2012) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute for Economic Development signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Brazil's economic development agency SEBRAE and the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) to formalize a working relationship and to usher in linking SEBRAE to SBDCGlobal.com, a website that connects SBDC clients with international trade opportunities. The MOU was signed at the Organization of American States (OAS) Conference in New Orleans on Sept. 11, 2012.
The agreement is a step forward in the United States-Brazil Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ATEC). Under the ATEC, the United States and Brazil have agreed to explore greater cooperation on a variety of issues including small businesses. At the first ATEC meeting hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative in March 2012, the United States and Brazil discussed the potential for encouraging trade linkages between the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network in the United States and the Brazil SEBRAE network, working with interagency partners, universities and the private sector in order to expand mutual international trade opportunities for small businesses in both countries.
President Obama has noted "small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstone of our nation's promise." The same is true throughout the Western Hemisphere, where the small business sector plays a critical role in job creation and broad-based economic growth.
The Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) will promote business development and entrepreneurship through micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) and encourage greater trade among these businesses throughout the hemisphere by promoting the expansion of the SBDC model in partner countries; connecting the more than 2,000 SBDCs and similar SME support centers throughout the hemisphere that already serve approximately two million small business clients; and promoting MSME trade through virtual trade platforms like SBDCglobal.com, which can help SBDCs and their small-business clients expand international partnerships.
UTSA President Ricardo Romo, SEBRAE President Luiz Barretto Filho and ASBDC President/CEO Charles "Tee" Rowe signed the agreement during a reception hosted by UTSA and the ASBDC. Honorary witnesses voicing their support included representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration, State Department, U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States and U.S. Trade Representative, as well as representatives from the Mexican Association of Small Business Development Centers (AMCDPE), the Central American economic development organization CENPROMYPE and the Caribbean Export Agency.
"We are very excited to be involved in this landmark agreement between economic development organizations in the U.S. and Brazil. This MOU is an important step toward making President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas initiative a reality, and a step that can be replicated with other countries to further this initiative," said Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development.
Since 2003, the Institute for Economic Development together with the International Trade Center have led initiatives with 12 foreign countries to develop programs based on the proven US model of SBDC networks. These networks will be connected via SBDCGlobal.com to better facilitate hemispheric trade growth among small business sectors.
About the International Trade Center
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 us on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like us on Facebook.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the largest of nine academic universities and six health institutions in the UT System. As a multicultural institution of access and excellence, UTSA aims to be a national research university providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment. UTSA serves nearly 31,000 students in more than 135 degree programs in the colleges of Architecture, Business, Education, and Human Development, Engineering, Honors, Liberal and Fine Arts, Public Policy, Sciences and Graduate School. Founded in 1969, UTSA is an intellectual and creative resource center and a socioeconomic development catalyst for Texas and beyond.
Celebrate 40 years of BestFest, an annual event hosted by Roadrunner Productions as a part of UTSA Homecoming festivities. The event will feature a carnival, food and drink booths, a golf cart parade, firework and live music from Anthem.
Brackenridge Lot 1, Main Campus
Celebrate homecoming as the Roadrunners take on Rice. Come early for the Spirit Walk, tailgating, games, music and food. Stick around for a halftime show with SOSA and the crowning of Mr. and Ms. UTSA.
Alamodome, 100 Montana St., Downtown San Antonio
The Leadership Storytelling Homecoming Brunch brings together UTSA alumni and students to share a delicious meal as well as a roundtable conversation about how experiences in college carry us forward on unique leadership journeys.
University Center, Denman Room (UC 2.01.28), Main Campus
The conference is dedicated to sharing recent knowledge and experiences gained in the area of Big Data by researchers in academia, industry and the government sectors within the areas of business, national security, infrastructure, healthcare and visualization.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (HUC 1.104), Main Campus
Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, via webcast, will examine America’s economic, political and security relations with China during CHINA Town Hall, an 80-city live discussion and Q&A on China and Sino-American relations.
Building Building, Richard Liu Auditorium (BB 2.01.02), Main Campus
The African American Studies program proudly presents William "Cruz" Shaw, San Antonio City Councilman and UTSA Alumnus. Event is free and open to the public.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
The graduate fair is an opportunity for the UTSA student body and local San Antonio community to learn about graduate education opportunities. The event is free and open to the public.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (1.104), Main Campus
President Taylor Eighmy is inviting all UTSA students to "Pizza With The Prez." Come grab a slice of pizza and take the opportunity to introduce yourself to the President. Pizza while supplies last.
Frio Street Building, Food Court Commons Area, Downtown Campus
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.