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Small Business Development Centers ready to launch in Honduras

(July 27, 2012) On July 27, 2012 a graduation ceremony was held at the Casa Presidencial of Honduras, and was presided over by Vice President of Honduras Ma. Antonietta de Guillen. One hundred and thirty certificates were awarded to new Small Business Development Center (SBDC) professionals who will be involved in building the network of SBDC’s to grow small business and trade in this Central American nation. The University of Texas at San Antonio International Trade Center Director Cliff Paredes, and his team delivered a four-month SBDC Diplomado training program to transfer the SBDC model. Honduras Secretary of Industry and Commerce announced the establishment of the first two pilot SBDC’s in Golfo de Fonseca and Olancho regions. It is projected that six regional SBDC’s across Honduras will open by year’s end.

As a part of President Obama’s initiative “Small Business Network of the Americas,” UTSA has been engaged by the State Department to help establish SBDC networks in developing countries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Building SBDC networks and relationships internationally will expand trade growth opportunities between clients of the 1,000 U.S. SBDC’s and their foreign counterparts. Last year the UTSA International Trade Center helped San Antonio area clients add $210 million of new trade growth, primarily through partner agencies in Mexico, El Salvador and Colombia. As more countries join the network, trade opportunities will multiply.

“Small business trade growth is the low-hanging fruit for economic development, at home and abroad,” said UTSA Associate VP for Economic Development, Robert McKinley. UTSA’s global presence and leadership fulfills our mission of community service and creates job opportunities for our graduates by expanding the San Antonio regional economy.

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