November 01, 2012

LAWT Wire Service

Fifty-eight new participants will sign-up for the next USC Bridges to Business for Success (B2BS) series this fall because of new Citibank funding. The USC Bridges Program is a public-private collaboration supported by USC’s Minority Business Development Agency Business Center (MBDA), the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy, the Los Angeles Housing Department, the Southern California Minority Business Development Institute and the Small Business Administration’s Service Corps of Retired Executives, as well as the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles, the Black Business Association and the Asian Business Association.

Citi Community Development funded the first two cohorts of the USC Bridges Program with a gift of $60,000. B2BS participants learned to expedite the many details of the procurement process by navigating legal and regulation issues in an efficient manner. They also received business presentation analysis and project management training.  To date, the pilot program has graduated 42 contractors with a 100% success rate at bidding and acquiring government contracts. Cumulatively, B2BS graduates have provided over 100 jobs throughout Los Angeles since April 2012.

Bob Annibale, global director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance said, “Citi is proud to help business owners in Southern California receive the resources they need to succeed, grow, and create jobs. Part of Citi's mission is to empower individuals through financial independence, and through this innovative program we will reach hundreds of minority entrepreneurs and business owners, providing valuable training, networking opportunities and technical assistance."

Sergio Gascon, executive director of USC MBDA Business Center is excited to have a new cohort of contractors who had been on the waiting list start this coveted program, he said.

“This is a win-win situation for all,” said Gascon.

Category: Business