UTSA International Trade Center hosts Carribbean small-business delegation

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(June 17, 2014) -- This week, the International Trade Center, a Small Business Development Center in the UTSA Institute for Economic Development, is hosting a delegation of high-level government officials and business development professionals representing several Caribbean countries. Center administrators will allow the guests to observe SBDC operations and then travel with the delegation to Washington, D.C., as the visitors learn about network administration, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) policy creation and program oversight.

SBDCs, established throughout the United States by the federal government in partnership with universities and colleges, assist entrepreneurs and 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 strategies, financial planning, marketing, production and professional networking. The centers support new and existing businesses.

The delegations from Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica, and Saint Lucia will observe the operations of SBDCs and other centers at the UTSA Institute for Economic Development. They will learn how the U.S. SBDC model works by viewing presentations on the business advising services, training programs, client presentations, and participating in other stakeholder meetings.

Later in the week, the delegations will join up with other delegates from Jamaica and Belize -- countries which have already participated in a San Antonio visit -- in Washington, D.C., where they will meet the Small Business Administration (SBA), State Department, U.S. Senate and House Small Business Committee leaders.

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

"When countries visit UTSA, and our SBDCs, they get an in-action view of how we create economic impact in our communities on a daily basis," said Cliff Paredes, director of the International Trade Center. "We expect the delegates to get a lot out of this opportunity. Traveling on to Washington D.C. provides a critical vantage of how our larger funding stakeholders operate, and how we work with them to advance our common goals. It's always an eye opening experience."

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.

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For more information, visit the SBDC Global website.

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