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UTSA Institute for Economic Development promotes SBDC model in Guatemala

Guatemala City, Guatemala

Guatamala City, Guatemala, and nearby volcanoes
(Photo: Wikipedia Commons)

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(Oct. 2, 2012) -- Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development, and Minerva Garcia, an international business consultant at the UTSA International Trade Center, met Sept. 5 in Guatemala City, Guatemala, with officials in the Guatemalan government, higher education and non-governmental organization sectors, and business leaders. The purpose was to discuss the benefits of developing a Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network in Guatemala modeled after the network in the United States.

Since 2003, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development and the International Trade Center have helped countries develop SBDC networks with support from the U.S. Department of State. UTSA began by working with Mexico to develop what has become a network of more than 100 centers.

The meeting in Guatemala followed a dialogue between UTSA, CENPROMYPE (Centro Regional de Promoción de la MIPYME) and the government of Guatemala to begin a training program in the country to help professionals develop and run SBDCs.

"We met with Guatemalan stakeholders to conduct an SBDC feasibility survey and focus group. This helped us determine the best way forward," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "The conversations leading up to the meeting were very positive, and we are looking forward to the potential of adding Guatemala to the list of countries with SBDC networks."

Attendees at the consultation included Sigfrido Lee, vice minister of economy for Guatemala, and a representative from the El Salvadoran SBDC association CONAMYPE (Comisión Nacional de la Micro y Pequeña Empresa, El Salvador). Lee was there to discuss how he completed the training and developed a network of SBDCs to assist small and medium-sized businesses.

For more information on the development of SBDCs abroad, visit the SBDC Global website.


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.



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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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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