Background information

Within the framework of the initiation of the project of implementing the SBDC model in St. Lucia, and taking into consideration the interest of St. Lucia 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 13th, 2012 the Ministry of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs (former Ministry of Commerce, Business Development, Investment and Consumer Affairs) in collaboration with Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Organization of American States, the University of Texas at San Antonio and the Department of State of the United States of America 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.

As a result of the consultation process, public, private and academic sectors' representatives considered that the model could be adapted to the St. Lucian context and would support the implementation of it. The "Certificate Training for Future SBDC Counselors and Directors" to prepare professionals on how to operate and manage an SBDC was finalized in May 2013.

The Ministry assigned its Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) as the "anchor" SBDC organization, with other organizations and institutions with specialized expertise, including the Sr. Arthur Lewis Community College, linked to SEDU through MOUs. To this end, the Ministry successfully completed the signature of several MOUs in an effort to galvanize the public-private partnership of the SBDC network in St. Lucia, part of the model adaptation.

Saint Lucia launched its SBDC pilot network on November 19th, 2014. To date, St. Lucia’s network has expanded to include three SBDCs operated by the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) and Commerce and Industry Unit (both within the Department of Commerce) and the Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), and a network of 13 support agencies and financial institutions that include National Skills Development Center (NSDC), National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (NCPC), among others.

For more information on the St. Lucia SBDC Project please contact:

  • Barbara Innocent-Charles, Director, SBDC | Tel: +1.758.468.4220 | E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | Website: