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Media 042814 SBDC-Mexico

April 28, 2014

Mexico and the US Sign Agreement on Small Business Cooperation

Embassy of the United States - Mexico

In a further step in deepening U.S.-Mexico economic cooperation, Caroline Tess, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Canada, Mexico and Regional Economic Policy at the U.S. Department of State and Enrique Jacob Rocha, President of the National Entrepreneurship Institute (INADEM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to connect U.S. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) with Mexico's Entrepreneurial Support Network.  This bilateral agreement furthers President Obama's Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA) initiative by helping entrepreneurs in the United States and Mexico grow their business and tap into global business opportunities.  The signing took place during the meeting of the Mexican-U.S. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Council (MUSEIC) from April 23-25 at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). 

Under the new agreement, U.S. SBDCs will work together with centers in Mexico to help small business grow in their local markets and expand internationally.  Collectively, the U.S. and Mexican networks boast nearly 2,000 centers serving over 1 million small businesses.  Center-to-center partnerships will be modeled on the first SBNA sister center partnership which was established by the George Mason University Enterprise Center and the SBDC at the Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon.  The MOU builds on long-standing cooperation between U.S. and Mexican institutions such as UTSA, the U.S. Association of Small Business Development Centers and the Association of Mexican Small Business Development Centers.   

Deputy Assistant Secretary Tess hailed the signing saying, "this agreement demonstrates the U.S. and Mexican governments' commitment to support entrepreneurs on both sides of the border who will power our economies in the future."  INADEM President Rocha concurred, stating "Mexico and the United States share a great vision for the future: to boost decidedly the entrepreneurial and innovative talent of our nations. MUSEIC and the memorandum of understanding that we signed today perfectly reflect our governments' firm determination in this new stage of mutual benefit in the bilateral relationship."

"The objective is to spur a quantum leap in binational entrepreneurship and innovation projects and help small businesses gain access to markets and funding as well as implement better, sustainable business practices," added Robert McKinley head of UTSA's Institute for Economic Development.  The Small Business Administration recently named UTSA's Institute for Economic Development as the Small Business Development Center of the year out of a total of 1,100 SBDCs in the United States.  In 2013, the SBDC helped south Texas entrepreneurs generate $439 million in global sales - a trend they wish to accelerate with Mexican small businesses.

MUSEIC is a binational public-private partnership that strengthens the legal framework to spur innovation and entrepreneurship, improves entrepreneurs' access to capital, develops regional innovation clusters, expands small business development infrastructure, and facilitates the commercialization of new technologies in support of the goals of the High Level Economic Dialogue announced by Presidents Barack Obama and Enrique Pena Nieto in May 2013. 

"In both the United States and Mexico, entrepreneurs drive innovation, job creation, and sustained economic growth.  We look forward to working with the Government of Mexico and our partners in MUSEIC to bolster cross-border cooperation on innovation and entrepreneurship. In doing so, we hope to build a brighter future for our two nations" noted U.S. Department of State's Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott Nathan.  MUSEIC also promotes women's entrepreneurship and engages entrepreneurs among the U.S.-based Latin American diaspora.

During the MUSEIC meeting, its members, including public and private sector representatives from both countries, evaluated the Council's achievements in its first year and planned next steps for strengthening regional economic competitiveness through binational innovation and entrepreneurship activities.  In 2013, the Council sponsored entrepreneurship-related activities, including a conference on angel investment, a startup boot camp for young Mexican entrepreneurs, an international forum on women's entrepreneurship, a binational cluster mapping effort to identify commercial and educational synergies on both sides of the border, among other initiatives. 

For more information on MUSEIC including a copy of the MOU signed on April 24, please visit: http://www.state.gov/e/eb/cba/entrepreneurship/museic/index.htm.

For more information on SBNA, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xf-4ejhxDPk or contact sbna@state.gov.

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Press release, Apr. 25, 2014, Embassy of the United States, Mexico City

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