Background information

Within the framework of the initiation of the project of implementing the SBDC model in Dominica, and taking into consideration the interest of Dominica in assessing the possibility of adapting and implementing the SBDC model, with the goal of broadening and improving assistance services to the micro and small business sector, on May 30th, 2012, the Dominica Employment and Small Business Agency in collaboration with the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), hosted the event titled “Small Business Development Center Model: learning the SBDC model of the University of Texas at San Antonio”, during which the SBDC model promoted by the University of Texas at San Antonio was presented.

Following the presentation of the model, participants were divided in groups by stakeholder sector (private, public/NGO/academic and financial institutions), with the goal of obtaining feedback on the possibility of successfully adapting and implementing the model within the context of Dominica as well as assessing their interest in participating in such project.

As a result of the consultation process, public, private and academic sectors' representatives considered that the model could be adapted to the Dominica context and would support the implementation of it.

UTSA conducted the "Certificate Training for Future SBDC Counselors and Directors" to prepare professionals on how to operate and manage an SBDC and technical visits to guide the Ministry team through the development of the SBDC program framework. The Ministry and participating organizations are currently collaborating and joining efforts in order to successfully adapt and adopt the model to launch Small Business Development Centers across the nation.