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UTSA VP Joins Statewide Small Business Taskforce

UTSA'S International Center for Economic Development recently trained a group of directors for Peru's new SBDC models.

Gov. Rick Perry has appointed Robert McKinley, associate vice president for economic development at UTSA, to serve on a statewide taskforce that advises the state’s elected officials on issues related to small business.

Since 2003, McKinley has led the UTSA Small Business Development Center in creating an international network of SBDC offices. Those centers are in 15 countries so far in this hemisphere -- with Tunisia on the radar – and help foreign small businesses get off the ground.

McKinley said helping other countries in this way builds relationships between the countries – but also improves humanity:

“They are all sovereign countries; we cannot dictate to them just like they can’t dictate to us,” McKinley said. “However, when we build business relationships, I think there is positive spillover effect of best practices in management [and] corporate social responsibility; there’s more visibility and transparency. Those are all positive factors to improve the human condition.”

McKinley said UTSA is in the center of exporting best practices for small business and trade internationally. Local SBDC staff have trained personnel in participating countries to help them establish more centers.

McKinley’s appointment to the taskforce runs through June 14, 2015. The taskforce advises the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the house on small business issues. It also is responsible for providing information in plain language to the public on issues related to small business.

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.