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UTSA's Small Business Development Center Setting Up Centers In Peru

Peru's coffee industry hopes to make new strides in business development, thanks to UTSA's Small Business Development Center training.

UTSA’s International Trade Center teams have begun training new small business development counselors in Peru. The program is part of the government's Small Business Network of the Americas Initiative to help small businesses in other countries gain economic independence.

Small business owners know they have to develop a business plan, get funding, produce the product, and find buyers. Helping the business owner learn how to do all these things is the job of the Small Business Development Center at UTSA. 

Monica Alcoz, senior international business consultant from the San Antonio SBDC, is leading the training in Peru for others like her who want to establish foreign SBDCs to help small businesses grow.

“In Peru it’s a economy that’s based on the mine industry," Alcoz said. "Suppliers for machinery. They also have the coffee. We know the coffee in Columbia but in Peru has bigger production but is not very much commercialized. Also the cocoa industry has a lot of potential.”

Alcoz said Peru is the second country for UTSA’s International Trade Center to provide counselor training for small business development centers --Columbia was the first and more countries will follow soon.

“And Chile most probably is going to be the next step," Alcoz said. "We have interest from North Africa. And we have started working on the implementation for the model in Tunisia.”

The Peru training will be provided in four parts, culminating in May when the students will graduate with certification as SBDC counselors and directors. The goal is for the U.S. to start to see imports from these countries and a general increase in trade in both directions. 

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.