The nature of the SBDC methodology facilitates for the peculiarities of SBDC’s in each territory not to become an obstacle but to a key to success to concrete partnerships, as has happened between Guatemala, Honduras and the Dominican Republic.
For example, the SBDC of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala (CCG) partner with the SBDC of ISA University, in the Dominican Republic, and according to its Director, Donald Rodas, many similarities in the organizational structure were found, which allowed a greater integration in the actions carried out for the internationalization of MSMEs’ products.
It is an advantage to partner with institutions that manage SBDC’s, because we are in the same mechanics to better understand the project, which facilitated the rest of the actions,” Rodas said.
The CCG also had a partnership with the SBDC of Valles de Comayagua, Honduras, working from the center located in the city of Quetzaltenango to exchange experiences and strengthen the production chain between cocoa producing companies.
The SBDC network in Honduras has the particularity of being self-managed, both in the organizational vision and in the budgetary administration, which has been a learning subject with the organizations of the region to emulate their nature.
Even so, “all institutions speak the SBDC language: we understand what training or technical assistance is” Rodas said.
Julissa Felipe, Foreign Trade Advisor at the GCC, reinforced that although the same guidelines are used, each center has its own internal way of handling things.
RESULTS OF SPEAKING THE SAME LANGUAGE
As a result of the partnership between the CCG and ISA University, a business relationship for the internationalization of exported products was born between the Guatemalan company of natural essences “Extract” and the Dominican company of cleaning products “Requisa”.
They found out they could interact with each other, so they signed a product exchange contract and became distributors. It was an unusual result because a trade mission can take up to two years
Both SBDC’s are in the process of signing a medium-term cooperation agreement that emerged as a result of the collaborative work deployed under the SBNA Small Grant Program. The SBDC of the Chamber of Commerce of Guatemala also stablished a partnership with the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians (WCNP) to development of an innovative business acceleration model to implement commercial strategies and generate commercial opportunities, as well as jobs.
The Business Acceleration Program allowed eight Guatemalan companies to create their own innovation strategy and to become mentors of 21 MSMEs. In addition, the acceleration methodology was transfer to eight members of the Center, which will allow them to replicate the program to continue to benefit more companies.
The workshops, the soft-landing, the acceleration trip and the mentoring process were beneficial for the companies that are applying their strategies to their new business model.
Julissa Felipe, Foreign Trade Advisor at the GCC
This partnership gave us the pattern to build a close communication and we’re so similar in the economy.
Source: SMALL BUSINESS NETWORK OF THE AMERICAS (SBNA). Results and experiences of the SBNA Small Grant Program. November 2019. CENPROMYPE.