SBDCs in Colombia
The SBDC Project in Colombia is funded by the US Department of State, with the support of HED under the Pathway of Prosperity Initiative, and is executed by the University of Texas at San Antonio in partnership with the Colombia Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism. The project started in February 2013 with the SBDC Stakeholder Pre-Consultation and Consultation meetings that aimed at gaining support and awareness of the SBDC model in Colombia. After the consultation meetings in the cities of Bogota, Cali, Medellin and Barranquilla, UTSA conducted the Certificate Training Program for the Future SBDC Counselors and Directors in these four cities, with the goal of transferring the SBDC methodology and guiding professionals through the development of the operational and strategic plans of their future centers. In July 2014, UTSA hosted a visit from the Ministry and other important SME Stakeholders from the Public, Private and High Education sectors to learn first hand about the day to day operations of the SBDCs as well as led a visit to Washington DC so that they would learn about the structure, legal framework and supervision of an SBDC Network. UTSA is now assisting the government in successfully adapting and adopting the model to the local context. In 2015 Colombia is planning to launch 14 Pilot Centers.