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Western Hemisphere: Launch of the Small Business Network of the Americas, International Sister Center Program

U.S. Department of State Special Representative for Global Partnerships Andrew O’Brien will launch the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) International Sister Center Program on September 11, 2013, in Orlando, Florida.

Created in close partnership with the U.S. Association of Small Business Development Centers and organized by the Department of State, this launch event will bring together representatives from small business development centers (SBDCs), start-up incubators and accelerators, universities, and other organizations that promote entrepreneurship and innovation throughout the Western Hemisphere. Participants will begin the process of building lasting International Sister Center partnerships that will help small and medium enterprises take advantage of business opportunities that in turn create jobs throughout the region.

Launched in 2012 at the Sixth Summit of the Americas, SBNA is President Obama’s signature initiative to promote entrepreneurship, innovation and small business growth in the Western Hemisphere. SBNA seeks to build connections between institutions providing counseling, training, financing and other support services to small and medium businesses. The SBNA International Sister Center Program is an opportunity for service providers to exchange best practices for business development and to find new partners who can provide their clients with access to new and emerging markets.

Roughly 80 organizations from 17 countries, including Canada, Mexico, and Brazil, will participate. Collectively these organizations serve approximately 250,000 small and medium enterprises. A similar number of U.S. SBDCs will also participate to explore International Sister Center partnerships with their peers.

For more information on SBNA, see For inquiries on SBNA, contact

Follow #SBNA and #RedPymes on Twitter for program updates.

Press Contact: Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs/Public Affairs Unit