top of page

About the Program

The USC Bridges to Business Program is a 10-week comprehensive, capacity-building training program for disadvantaged small business owners including local, women, veteran, disabled and minority-owned small businesses.  The program prioritizes serving businesses earning less than $3 million of annual revenue, and located in communities surrounding USC's University Park Campus (South Los Angeles) and Health Science Campus (Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights, El Sereno). The program is designed for executive-level entrepreneurs who have demonstrated capacity for operating an existing business, may be qualified to become certified DBEs (Disadvantaged Business Enterprises), and have the financial strength to access capital.  Program participants are eligible to receive over 45 hours of classroom training conducted by business subject-matter experts.


As current small business owners, my wife and I have experienced the constant duality of entrepreneurship. This journey of owning and running a business is inherently filled with successes and failures, joy and sadness, peace and uncertainty. We have learned to appreciate that entrepreneurship is a marathon, and we continue forward one step at a time while also looking forward to making our vision a reality. 

The USC Office of Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships is dedicated to supporting business owners and entrepreneurs, like you. We know that as you thrive, the community can, in-turn, benefit from new job opportunities, and investments of your time, experiences, and other resources. As a fellow business owner I am excited to hear your stories and facilitate you connecting with others who are on a similar journey!

Please take some time to explore our website and learn more about the impact our USC Bridges to Business Success program is making.  My hope is that you will be encouraged and inspired. Our program provides you with both knowledge and practical tools to grow your business, as well as maintain balance, and connect with a network of peers and mentors on which you can count. 

Our team is excited to walk alongside you on this exciting entrepreneurial journey and support your success.  

All the best, and please know that we are here for you every step of the way!

Alex Smith

Program Administrator for Community Capacity Initiatives

USC Office of Civic Engagement & Economic Partnerships

Message from our Director

bottom of page