Revving the Economic Engine
The communities surrounding the USC campuses have a variety of needs, and some of them can be addressed through charitable funding such as grants and scholarships. However, long-term solutions hinge upon the stability of a healthy local economy. So USC is leveraging its assets to jump-start a sustainable economic engine in our communities by supporting local businesses.
A pillar of this effort is the federally-funded Los Angeles MBDA (Minority Business Development Agency) Business Center. Operated by USC’s Business Expansion Network in partnership with the City of Los Angeles, the MBDA Business Center offers high-value services to local businesses through four major units: procurement, business training, financing, and consulting.
Participating businesses — which are all minority-, female-, or veteran-owned — receive aid in procuring certifications or licensing, as well as training in business strategies and language skills. Various levels of financing are available and can be managed by USC students studying to be business or financial consultants.
One initiative of the MBDA is the Bridges to Business program, which offers a business-training course at USC that provides consultation, strategy, and procurement-plan assistance for local minority contractors bidding on foreclosed properties.
To help local entrepreneurs achieve their full potential, the university also developed the USC Family of Businesses. The program provides local businesses with broad-based connections to the community, as well as technical assistance with communications, marketing, and traditional business-consulting services. Participants have easy access to the multi-disciplinary intellectual resources of USC’s professional schools.
By supporting the development of local businesses in multiple ways, the university promotes the overall economic health, sustainability, and stability of our neighborhoods. At the same time, USC students gain opportunities for applied learning, and the university’s faculty and staff can contribute their expertise to enhance the economic development and well-being of the area.