Background information

Within the framework of the initiation of the project of implementing the SBDC model in Belize, and taking into consideration the interest of Belize in assessing the possibility of adapting and implementing the SBDC model, with the goal of broadening and improving assistance services to the micro and small business sector, on March 1st, 2012 the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and the Belize Development Finance Corporation (DFC) in collaboration with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) hosted the event titled “Small Business Development Center Model: learning the SBDC model of the University of Texas at San Antonio”, during which the SBDC model promoted by the University of Texas at San Antonio was presented.

Following the presentation of the model, participants were divided in groups by stakeholder sector (private, public/NGO/academic and financial institutions), with the goal of obtaining feedback on the possibility of successfully adapting and implementing the model within the context of Belize as well as assessing their interest in participating in such project.

The feedback gathered from the consultation showed that the public, private and academic sectors considered that the model could be adapted to the Belizean context and would support the implementation of it. As a result, a "Certificate Training for Future SBDC Counselors and Directors" was conducted to prepare professionals on how to operate and manage an SBDC.

On October 31st, 2012 Belize launched the first SBDC in the country - SBDCBelize. To date the SBDCBelize has attracted a significant number of clients and is doing an excellent job of offering training programmes to small businesses in the community. The SBDC has also implemented the client activity tracking system (NeoSerra) that monitors client activities and assists in the measurement and evaluation of performance and results.

Since then, UTSA has continued supporting the SBDCBelize by hosting observational learning visits, conducting technical visits to the center, conducting SBDC training for new staff and stakeholders, etc. Belize continues to enjoy success with its SBDC and plans continue for the launch of further centers and the development of a country network.

SBDCBelize - Contact information:
Nilda Sosa, Manager
College St., West Landivar
Belize City, Belize
Phone: 501.223.3195
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: http://belizeinvest.org.bz

Please visit the SBDCBelize and BELTRAIDE Website, Blog, Facebook, and Twitter to learn about the training offered to small and medium businesses in Belize.