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Chile completes nationwide network of 51 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), strengthens economy, under guidance of UTSA Institute for Economic Development

Chile completes nationwide network of 51 Small Business Development Centers (SBDC), strengthens economy, under guidance of UTSA Institute for Economic Development
The UTSA Institute for Economic Development has worked with 20 countries in the western hemisphere to transfer the U.S. SBDC model abroad, strengthening foreign economies and creating market access for U.S. businesses.


SAN ANTONIO, (August 22, 2017) – Less than two years since Chilean President Michelle Bachelet celebrated the opening of Chile’s first Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Valparaiso, the country commemorated the completion of its national SBDC network with the opening of its 51st Center in early August. Robert McKinley, UTSA sr. associate vice president for economic development, and Cliff Paredes, SBDC International Trade Center director, attended the commemoration ceremony; the two spearheaded UTSA’s efforts to guide Chile through President Bachelet’s initiative to support inclusive development across her country.

In 2015, Chile began implementing the U.S. SBDC model taught by the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center (ITC). During a commemoration ceremony on August 4, President Bachelet praised The University of Texas at San Antonio and McKinley for the support and collaboration that led Chile to complete its national network of SBDCs.

“I’d like to recognize Robert McKinley, representative from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Thanks to our joint work, we have been able to develop our Small Business Development Centers [CDN – Centros de Desarrollo de Negocios],” said President Bachelet. “I’m pleased to participate in the official launch of this Center because with it, just like the Minister and Ambassador Perez mentioned, we are are accomplishing our goal of having 51 Centers throughout Chile.”

SBDC International Trade Center director Cliff Paredes and his staff of international business advisors consulted and trained the Chilean Ministry of Economy to plan and implement the entire initiative. Through 2017, the Chilean partnership invested approximately $45 million (U.S.) in the program from public, private, and academic sectors. Since establishing the first SBDC that jumpstarted their SBDC Network, Chile has already provided business consulting to 16,000 entrepreneurs and management training to 81,000 small businesses in their first year.

Leading the expansion of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA), which leverages the high-performing U.S. SBDC model, UTSA is driving job creation and broad-based economic growth through its SBDCGlobal program. SBDCGlobal assists foreign small businesses start and grow their operations, while also expanding market access partners for the U.S. The SBDC International Trade Center has worked with foreign governments and aspiring business owners across 20 countries in the Western Hemisphere

“Chile demonstrated a firm commitment to this initiative and moved both quickly and effectively to establish their 51 Small Business Development Centers in less than two years. President Bachelet and the Chilean Ministry of Economy are a true model for our SBDCGlobal Program. The benefit of establishing a national SBDC network is already materializing through the impressive numbers of entrepreneurs and businesses growing in Chile. Our international business advisors are proud to see the success of this collaborative work. Chile’s communities will continue to thrive under a government that prioritizes economic development,” said Cliff Paredes, SBDC International Trade Center director.

Through SBDCGlobal, there are currently 154 SBDCs operating abroad with more than 120 SBDCs expected to launch by 2018. These SBDCs have afforded more than 45,000 business owners in Latin America the opportunity to receive advising, grow their businesses, and create jobs for their communities while boosting their local economies.

“President Bachelet and the Chilean Ministry of Economy have implemented a truly revolutionary approach to inclusive economic development across their entire country. This is a rare opportunity and accomplishment; the UTSA banner is firmly the strongest U.S. university presence in Chile and we are a strong partner for the U.S. State Department regarding Latin America initiatives. Our efforts will persist across the western hemisphere, so that we not only strengthen foreign economies, but spark business opportunities between the U.S. and the growing number of countries we work with,” said Robert McKinley, UTSA sr. associate vice president for economic development.


Institute for Economic Development: iedtexas.org

South-West Texas Border SBDC Network: txsbdc.org

SBDC International Trade Center: texastrade.org

About the UTSA Institute for Economic Development: The UTSA Institute for Economic Development is dedicated to growing businesses, creating jobs and fostering economic development. Focused on building the economy one business at a time, the Institute consists of 10 centers and programs that provide professional business advising, technical training, research and strategic planning for entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders. These programs serve Greater San Antonio, the Texas-Mexico border area as well as regional, national and international stakeholders. Together with the federal, state and local governments, and private businesses, the UTSA Institute for Economic Development fosters economic and community development in support of UTSA’s community engagement mission. In 2016, the Institute generated direct regional economic impact of 7,517 jobs, started 591 new businesses, $447 million in new financing, $78 million in new tax revenue and exceeded $1.4 billion in new sales, exports and contracts. For more information, visit iedtexas.org

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