SBDC Transfer and Implementation


The UTSA Center for Global Development has created a proprietary Five-Phase Approach to National SBDC Network Development that helps countries adopt the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) methodology successfully. The goal is to help countries quickly and efficiently develop successful, sustainable, and economic impact-producing SBDCs. This approach is based on UTSA’s 30+ years in operating a top SBDC network and its 20+ years of experience in helping 24+ countries adopt and adapt the methodology to their national context.

The goal of this approach is simple – to help countries and SBDC national network administrators develop the most successful and sustainable SBDC network as quickly and efficiently as possible. Activities and related services are customized to a country's need and will add value while generating results. There are no shortcuts to this process. Therefore, every emerging SBDC network must complete each step in the Five-Phase Approach to National SBDC Network Development. These efforts will allow them to make informed decisions about how their network will be structured, funded, administered, and operated. Additionally, UTSA will provide insight into the long-term implications of each decision to avoid costly delays and mistakes while creating significant results.


UTSA’s Five-Phase Approach to National SBDC Network Development


*Please note that the following is a brief summary of the Five-Phase Approach to National SBDC Network Development that spans multiple years and many activities. For more information, please contact the UTSA Center for Global Development.


Phase 1 — Start-Up

The Start-Up Phase of National SBDC Network Development generates awareness, builds support, and informs policy development for the creation of a national SBDC network. This phase engages government, academic, and private sector stakeholders by explaining the features and benefits of the SBDC model. The Start-Up Phase consists of over 20 activities including the following:

  • In-country consultations where stakeholders analyze the feasibility of implementing the SBDC model considering the local context and existing micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) assistance programs. This consists of facilitated discussions with representatives from the federal, state, and local governments, academic and private sectors, and NGOs.
  • Visits to San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C. to observe the SBDC operations and discover how the model creates economic impact for MSME clients. Participants learn how a country structures, funds, operates, and administers a successful and sustainable national SBDC network.
  • SBDC policy development guidance for each country so that they can create a solid legal and regulatory framework to sustain the operations and development of a national SBDC network over many years.


Phase 2 — Transfer

The Transfer Phase of National SBDC Network Development operates on two levels: 1) assist governments with how to structure, fund, launch, and administer a sustainable SBDC network; 2) train future SBDC advisors and directors on how to operate an SBDC and deliver high-impact services for start-up and established business clients. The Transfer Phase consists of over 75 important activities including the following:

  • SBDC Advisor & Director Foundational Training Program which transfers the SBDC methodology by training future SBDC professionals on how to operate economic impact generating centers and in creating sound operational and strategic plans.
  • Create a SBDC National Network Program Framework that clearly defines national network operations, creates efficient internal processes and performance measurement systems, and that builds a culture of results.
  • Customize and install an SBDC CRM to measure, monitor, evaluate, and continuously improve SBDC performance.


Phase 3 — Pilot SBDC Network Implementation

The Pilot SBDC Network Implementation Phase of National SBDC Network Development ensures the successful operation of a pilot SBDC network that is offering high-value services, generating results, and that is positioned for future growth and development. The Pilot SBDC Network Implementation Phase consists of over 100 important activities including the following:

  • Systematize the SBDCs by establishing and logically executing client service and management processes such as consistent use of the SBDC CRM. This also includes implementing performance monitoring and quality assurance processes that build a culture of results, efficiency, and transparency.
  • UTSA conducts on-site technical visits for pilot SBDCs and national SBDC network administrators that will assist them in successfully implementing the SBDC methodology and in accelerating their development.


Phase 4 — SBDC Network Consolidation

The SBDC Network Consolidation Phase of National SBDC Network Development ensures the operation of a high-performing national SBDC network that generates incredible results, is continuously improving, has sustainable funding, and whose support spans national elections. In this phase, SBDCs can obtain the UTSA Global Small Business Network Certification and Accreditation designations that demonstrates the successful implementation of the SBDC methodology. The SBDC Network Consolidation Phase consists of over 125 critical activities including the following:

  • Create a culture of continuous learning, improvement, and values by adopting the Global Small Business Network Certified SBDC Advisor, Director, and Administrative Professional Programs.
  • Develop services for high growth established businesses that maximizes economic impact creation.
  • Utilize data analysis to continuously improve SBDC performance and optimize SBDC operations.
  • Obtain the Global Small Business Network - National SBDC Network Certification from UTSA that demonstrates the implementation of the core SBDC methodology, which is a precursor to national SBDC network accreditation.
  • Build SBDC national network sustainability by producing a positive return on investment for funders while creating national legislation that designates the SBDC program as the national entrepreneurship assistance infrastructure.
  • Obtain the internationally recognized Global Small Business Network - National SBDC Network Accreditation based on the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Standards that recognized performance excellence for the national SBDC network.


Phase 5 — SBDC Network Internationalization & Innovation

The SBDC Network Internationalization & Innovation Phase of National SBDC Network Development helps SBDC clients open new export markets, increase competitiveness, and grow sales in the Americas. The SBDC Network Internationalization & Innovation Phase consists of over 100 activities including the following:

  • Establish specialized export, technology commercialization, rural development, or government contracting SBDCs to empower continued growth and increasing competitiveness among MSME clients.
  • Internationalize the national SBDC network by providing high-value export assistance and connecting clients to trade and investment opportunities within the global SBDC network.
  • Assist tech entrepreneurs in commercializing new technologies and promote MSME innovation by providing high-value advising, mentorships, increased access to capital, and partnerships with university researchers and technology incubators within the global SBDC network.