The Florida SBDC at University of South Florida has been selected to participate in the Fall segment of the U.S. Department of State’s new fellowship program, created in support of the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) initiative.
“We are happy to be selected to participate in this inaugural program,” Eileen Rodriguez, Regional Director of the FSBDC at USF, said. “We are looking forward to working with our neighbors and possibly increasing trade opportunities.”
The SBNA Fellows Program is a fully funded, two-way exchange of staff between sister centers. The FSBDC at USF will work in partnership with the Merida Institute of Technology in association with the Mexican Association of Small Business Development Centers (AMCDPE).
The first phase of the SBNA Fellows Program will take place September 7-26 and is open only to designated staff from centers outside of the United States. Business advisers or center directors who are selected as Fellows will attend the 34th annual conference of the U.S. Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) in Grapevine, Texas, from Sept 8-12 where they will hear about the latest best practices in small business advising, and have the opportunity to expand their network of partners in the U.S.
Following the conference, each Fellow will travel to their U.S. sister center for up to a two week fellowship, where they will see first-hand how the U.S. center advises small businesses. This time will also be an opportunity to explore potential areas of future collaboration and joint projects.
Phase two will take place in early 2015 and will be open to staff from centers in the United States, based on action-plans and joint projects with their foreign counterpart. U.S. centers would send their staff person to the overseas center to engage in a similar exchange of best practices and hands-on learning.
For questions about the program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This exchange is sponsored by the Office of Citizen Exchanges in the Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and coordinated by World Learning, an international non-profit organization which partners with ECA on a wide range of professional exchange programs.