UTSA to conduct first SBDC counselor and director training in Panama

Panama City, Panama

Panama City, Panama

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(Sept. 25, 2012) -- The International Trade Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Institute of Economic Development announces that it will offer its Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Panama City, Panama. The program will help Panama establish SBDCs throughout the country to support Panamanian business owners and entrepreneurs.

Small Business Development Centers, established throughout the nation by the federal government in partnership with universities and colleges, assist entrepreneurs and first-time business owners in establishing and growing their businesses through a free and confidential suite of advising services. Services include, but are not limited to, feasibility studies, business strategy, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support first-time business owners who would not otherwise be able to retain professional consultants.

The goal of the SBDC Counselor 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. It is part of the International SBDC Expansion Initiative, which helps countries in the Americas develop Small Business Development Center networks modeled on the U.S. network. The UTSA Institute for Economic Development and International Trade Center has participated in the expansion initiative since 2003 with the support of the U.S. Department of State.

UTSA Associate Vice President for Economic Development Robert McKinley, UTSA International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes and International Business Consultant Minerva Garcia will conduct UTSA's Counselor and Director Certificate Training, which will be offered in four parts. The first module ran Sept. 19-21.

"The work we are doing with the International SBDC Expansion Initiative dovetails perfectly with President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) initiative and is helping to make the initiative a reality. Panama is a country that is poised to take advantage of this high-level training and to create economic impact domestically and internationally," said Paredes.

Giselle Burillo, minister of the Panamanian AMPYME (Autoridad de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa), will participate in the initial training, as will a representative from the El Salvadoran SBDC association CONAMYPE (Comisión Nacional de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa, El Salvador). They will discuss how they completed the training and developed their own network of SBDCs to assist small and medium-sized businesses. Representatives from the public, private and academic sectors will also participate.

For more information on the project, visit SBDCGlobal.com.

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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.

About UTSA

The University of Texas at San Antonio is one of the largest of nine academic universities and sixth 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.