(Dec. 19, 2012) -- The International Trade Center in the UTSA Institute of Economic Development announced the completion of its four-part 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.
The SBDCs are established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with state governments and universities and colleges. They assist entrepreneurs and business owners in establishing and growing businesses through a free and confidential suite of advising services. Among other services, the centers support feasibility studies, business strategy, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking for new and existing businesses.
Through SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training, participants have learned about the U.S. SBDC model and methodology. Individual training modules focused on SBDC business advising best practices, the role of specialty SBDCs (such as those focused on international trade), and the practical development of an operational plan to guide future counselors and directors on how to manage an office, personnel and funding. This training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development's International SBDC Expansion Initiative that, with the support of the U.S. Department of State, has helped countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks since 2003.
Robert McKinley, UTSA associate vice president for economic development, and Minerva Garcia, International Trade Center international business consultant, completed UTSA's Counselor and Director Certificate Training on Dec. 12-13.
"It has been an excellent opportunity to gain knowledge and skills for conducting long-term counseling that will benefit the micro and small enterprises in Panama. The SBDC program will strengthen the public, private and academic alliance in our country and region, and will enable us to reach thousands of business people to maximize economic impact for their companies," said Armando Espino, consultant for the AMPYME (Autoridad de la Micro, Pequeña y Mediana Empresa), the department of the Panamanian government responsible for development of micro-, small- and medium-sized businesses.
The UTSA International Trade Center 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 them on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like them on Facebook.
For more information, visit the SBDC Global website.
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