LU News Archive

Padilla visits Lamar Small Business Development Center

PadillaJose Antonio Padilla Salgado, the director of the Olancho Valley Small Business Development Center in Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras, recently visited the Lamar University Small Business Development Center as part of the 2014 Small Business Network of the Americas Fellows Program.

“For me, it is important to know about cultures, such as how people act and how they perform everyday activities,” Padilla said. “This gives me a better perspective in decision-making. I think that being here and taking all this information in is going to help us in our center.”

The Lamar Small Business Development Center and the Olancho Valley Small Business Development Center were two of the 16 SBDCs in North, Central and South America chosen to participate in the SBNA Fellows Program, made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Professional Fellows programming. The SBNA Fellows Program matches SBDCs in the United States with foreign SBDCs to participate in a cultural exchange.

Padilla’s visit to the U.S. was the first phase of the program. David Mulcahy, director of the Lamar SBDC, will visit the Olancho Valley SBDC in Honduras in early 2015 for the second phase of the project. The cultural exchange is facilitated by the Office of Citizen Exchanges, part of the state department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with the international non-profit organization World Learning.

“I think David is going to learn, too,” Padilla said. “Every day that we speak and talk to each other, I know that they learn something from me, too, so it’s mutual.”

Upon first arriving in the U.S., Padilla attended the 34th annual conference of the U.S. Association of Small Business Development Centers in Grapevine, Tex. Padilla then travelled to Beaumont for the two-week fellowship with the Lamar SBDC.

“When you meet another person and you see the work they’re doing, you have a different view, and you start adapting these things,” Padilla said. “While the businesses they advise are different, the structural and organizational things here are almost the same. That’s the good thing in coming here.”

The Lamar SBDC offers free consultations to local businesses as well as low-cost training programs and seminars. The Lamar SBDC is a member of the Texas Gulf Coast SBDC Network, which now serves 32 counties in south and east Texas.

“Sometimes you have the financial product, but you need the advising,” Padilla said. “People always think that they only need the money, but the advising helps with knowing how their business will do in the future. In order to achieve this, you need a business plan, market research, and financial analysis. That’s what a center does. It helps to support and to grow the business through advising.”

For more information on the Lamar SBDC or the SBNA Fellows Program, contact David Mulcahy at (409) 880-2367 or visit www.lamarbmt.sbdcnetwork.net.