How to adapt and implement the SBDC model
PHASE 1 — START-UP
The start-up phase consists in generating awareness, building support and guiding policy development to support the creation of the SBDC model with key SME program stakeholders - government, private sector and higher-ed. To reach these objectives, the following activities will be executed:
- In-country consultations during which we analyze the feasibility of implementing the SBDC model based on the local context and existing SME programs by conducting group discussions with representatives from the federal, state and local governments, private and academic sectors, and NGOs;
- Visits to San Antonio, Texas and Washington, D.C. to observe the SBDC services, discover how the model creates economic impact for SME clients and learn how the federal government created the necessary legal and policy framework, structures, funds and conducts oversight for the SBDC network;
- SBDC policy development guidance for each country so that they can create the appropriate legal and policy framework to sustain the development of the SBDC model.
PHASE 2 — TRANSFER
The second phase consists in transferring the SBDC methodology to develop the SME assistance capacity of the emerging network. This will be achieved through the following activities:
- SBDC Counselor & Director Certificate Training Program that will transfer the SBDC model methodology and train professionals on how to operate an economic impact generating SBDC;
- Request for proposal (RFP) process to award funding to future SBDC pilot centers (recommended approach).
PHASE 3 — IMPLEMENTATION
Once the future hosts of the SBDCs have been selected, the pilot SBDCs will be launched. Support and guidance will be provided to ensure that the new SBDCs are equipped with the necessary tools to successfully operate and assist clients. The following activities must be executed before the launch of the SBDC:
- Install a client activity tracking system to monitor and measure center performance.
- Systematize the model by establishing service, quality and process standards that will enable a transition from an initial pilot program to an established, national network of SBDCs.
PHASE 4 — CONSOLIDATION
The consolidation phase promotes the integrity and sustainability of the network. During the phase, the following activities will be executed:
- Offer professional development opportunities to SBDC personnel, including observational learning visits at the UTSA SBDC with the goal of observing center operations and administrative best practices;
- Maximize the creation and capture of economic impact to evaluate centers’ performance;
- Create a formal association of SBDCs that will represent the collective interest of its mem- bers and the small business sector and that will ensure the political and financial sustain- ability of the program;
- Develop accreditation standards that will guarantee the quality and consistency of the services as well as the implementation of management best practices across the national network;
- Establish specialized centers to respond to clients’ changing and evolving needs;
PHASE 5 — INTERNATIONALIZATION
Phase 5 will help SBDC clients open new export markets, increase competitiveness and grow sales in the Americas. This will be achieved through:
- SBDCGlobal.com, an online trade platform that will link SBDC clients from the United States, Mexico, Central and South American, and the Caribbean with trade opportunities.