Central America: Adapting and replicating the SBDC model

Central American countries have long recognized the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as major contributors to employment and growth within their communities, nations and region as a whole.

The "Central American: Adapting and replicating the Small Business Development Center model" project is part of the U.S. Department of State's initiative Pathways for Prosperity and is supported by HED, the University of Texas at San Antonio SBDC and CENPROMYPE. This project will assist in the creation of sustainable small business assistance networks in Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama and the Dominican Republic based on the proven U.S. SBDC model. It will also engage and actively enlist the support from the government, higher-education, NGOs and private sector for a more effective and integrated infrastructure for MSME assistance and help improve upon existing programs. This would ensure an effective, efficient and integrated regional Central American SBDC network that would provide micro, small and medium enterprises with the high-value assistance that will enable them to grow sales, improve competitiveness, create sustainable jobs and long-term economic impact.

The newly created network of Central American SBDC programs will be linked with each other and existing partners located in the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, El Salvador and the Caribbean to not only share program successful practices but also to connect their clients with multilateral international trade opportunities. Most importantly, this project will create a network of SBDC programs in Central America that would leverage the immense talent, expertise and infrastructure that exists.