San Francisco, California - Small business development centers (SBDCs) from around the world are networking at the fourth International Sister Center Workshop in San Francisco, California, from September 9-11.
Sponsored by the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) in partnership with America’s Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), the three-day event will develop partnerships between more than 100 small business support centers that collectively serve thousands of entrepreneurs.
Participants include centers from Barbados, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, Guatemala, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Turks and Caicos, and the United States.
Since its launch in 2013, the International Sister Center program has generated over 250 center-to-center partnerships. Centers cooperate on a wide array of activities – sharing best practices, facilitating trade missions, providing joint counseling for small business clients, and supporting soft landing programs for companies looking to expand internationally. The Western Hemisphere boasts more than 4,000 community-based centers that have helped over two million entrepreneurs grow their businesses and create jobs.
Guest speakers and attendees at this year’s ASBDC conference include SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet; Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, and Karen Peacock, VP of Intuit. Other speakers include representatives from the Inter-American Development Bank, the Government of Chile, the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Service (SEBRAE), and private sector partners from Growth Wheel Inc. and Gallup.