College receives major award from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $286,209 to the College of Business Administration to conduct a program entitled “Small and Medium Enterprises Center of Excellence” (SMECE). The College’s Knight Ridder Center for Excellence in Management will manage it.

“Early support from Florida FTAA, Inc. was crucial in helping us to develop a top-notch proposal for winning an award from USAID,” said Jerry Haar, professor of management and international business, newly-appointed associate director of the Knight Ridder Center, and principal investigator on the project.

The critical initial investment of Florida FTAA, Inc., along with future contributions from participants, will bring the total value of the project to more than $379,000.

SMECE is an innovative business education program of executive training to reach small and medium-size entrepreneurs in Central America and the Dominican Republic through web-based, self-paced training in each participant’s home country.

An intensive three-day, executive-level education program—encompassing classroom instruction at Florida International University and site visits to export-import companies in the Miami area—will follow the web-based training. The executives will learn how to access U.S. markets, including the requirements and procedures for dealing with ports, customs brokerages, and wholesale and retail outlets.

According to Edward Glab, the Knight Ridder Center’s interim director, “This innovative training program will help improve export of management knowledge and skills to small and medium-size business entrepreneurs from countries that have signed the U.S. Dominican Republic/Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR/CAFTA), thereby helping them to benefit from the agreement.”

“I believe this grant is just one more indication of the growing recognition that the College of Business Administration is one of the most innovative and resourceful assets for international initiatives in the area of cutting-edge business education,” said Joyce J. Elam, executive dean of the College.

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