Citibank donated $150,000 Wednesday to continue the USC Bridges to Business Success program, which supports minority small business owners in the real estate management industry.
The gift will allow approximately 58 new participants to take an eight-week course at USC to further develop their businesses. The program focuses on navigating legal and regulatory issues in real estate and also covers business presentation analysis and project management training.
USC Bridges launched in January, and its first class of 42 students graduated in April. Graduates of the program have created more than 100 jobs in Los Angeles and have had a 100 percent success rate in bidding on and winning governmental contracts.
Bob Annibale, global director of Citi Community Development and microfinance, said he supports the USC Bridges program because of its mission of giving back to the community.
“Citi is proud to help business owners in Southern California receive the resources they need to succeed, grow and create jobs,” Annibale said in a press release. “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.”
Citi Community Development originally funded the program with a gift of $60,000.
Other supporters of the program include USC’s Minority Business Development Agency Business Center, the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy, the Los Angeles Housing Department, the Southern California Minority Business Development Institute, the Small Business Administration’s Service Corps of Retired Executives, the Latino Business Chamber of Greater Los Angeles, the Black Business Association and the Asian Business Association.