Less than two years after the Chilean Ministry of Economy celebrated the opening of Chile’s first Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Valparaiso, the country grew to 51 centers located in Chile’s 15 regions across the national territory. With 76 additional satellite offices distributed across the territory, 335 communities are being served, representing 97 percent of the national territory.

In 2015, Chile began implementing the U.S. SBDC model taught by the UTSA SBDC International Trade Center. Development experts from UTSA’s SBDC advised and trained Chilean SBDCs known as Centros de Desarrollo de Negocios (CDN), which operate under the Servicio de Cooperación Técnica (Sercotec), a division of Chile’s Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism. Sercotec supports the start-up and scale-up of micro and small businesses.

The UTSA SBDC assisted Sercotec’s leadership in structuring the financing and administration of a national network of CDN centers, which is based on a public-private-academic partnership. Chilean partners from these sectors invested approximately $45 million (USD) in their national program.

To date, SBDCs in Chile have advised 22,349 clients, trained 137,785 training participants, created 3,185 new jobs, and generated $59.5 million (USD) in increased sales. Chile demonstrated a firm commitment to the initiative and moved quickly to establish their national network of SBDCs.

Moving toward the consolidation of the CDN program, Sercotec launched a management excellence model in 2016 that promotes quality performance and prepares Centers for the accreditation process. By 2017, the model was implemented across the first 35 Centers that began operating. The work will continue, with a goal of entering the first 35 Centers into the accreditation process and implementing the excellence model at the remaining 16 Centers through 2018.

To find the contact information of the SBDCs in Chile, click here: https://www.sercotec.cl/centros-de-negocios/