UTSA begins second round of SBDC training in Costa Rica Nov. 13-15

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

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(Nov. 1, 2013) -- The International Trade Center at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development will begin its four-module Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Counselor and Director Certificate Training in Costa Rica Nov. 13-15. It's the second training program UTSA has led in Costa Rica. Sixty participants are expected to attend this round of training representing higher education and the public and private sectors.

Established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with state governments and universities and colleges, SBDCs assist entrepreneurs and business owners in establishing and growing their businesses through a free and confidential suite of advising services. Services include feasibility studies, business strategies, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.

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. The training is part of the International Trade Center and Institute for Economic Development's International SBDC Expansion Initiative that, with the support of the Department of State, has been helping countries develop U.S.-modeled SBDC networks in the Americas since 2003.

UTSA International Trade Center Global SBDC Instructional Coordinator Minerva Garcia and International Business Consultant Julio Garcia de las Mestas will conduct the training, which will be offered in four parts.

"This is the second round of SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training that we are doing in Costa Rica," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "What makes this unique is that our Costa Rican partners have taken the reins in funding the process, rather than the U.S. funding agencies, who were involved in the first round. Clearly, the training is beneficial in building the market since they are committing their own funding to the project to continue to build a U.S.-modeled SBDC network in Costa Rica."

The Costa Rican National Institute of Learning (INA) and the Costa Rican Ministry of Economy Industry and Commerce (MEIC) will fund this training. Both organizations will have representatives present in support of the training.

The first round of SBDC Counselor and Director Certificate Training was in early 2012 with more than 56 program graduates. As a result, six of the more than 25 Costa Rican business assistance centers (CREAPYME) are using the U.S. SBDC model that UTSA presented, and the others are expected to do the same once this round of training is completed in 2014.

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 them on Twitter (@TexasTrade) and like them on Facebook (Facebook.com/texastrade).

For more information on the project, visit the SBDC Global website.