top of page

About Us

The University of Southern California Office of Civic Engagement is committed to serving and empowering our local communities. The mission of our Small Business Programs is to specialize in supporting micro, small and medium-sized business owners and entrepreneurs that include Veteran, Woman, Minority-owned and Multicultural businesses to build, develop and thrive. Through our various programs and initiatives, we impact the entire economic development ecosystem by developing the capacity of small businesses. 


I extend my warmest greeting to all (both existing and future) Entrepreneurs and Business Owners:


Business ownership and entrepreneurship can be both a time of great uncertainty and of great joy. Yet regardless of the challenges or the circumstance, you are warriors of your mission, committed to building wealth for you and your family and developing ties with your community to achieve a greater good.  I highly commend you for initiating this endeavor, and for courageously pursuing your vision.


The USC Office of Civic Engagement and Economic Partnerships is dedicated to supporting business owners and entrepreneurs, like you, to thrive.  We recognize and acknowledge that your success contributes to the success of healthy communities. Personally, I am both humbled and inspired by your story; by your commitment, passion, creativity and leadership.


I invite you to explore our website and learn more about the USC Bridges to Business Success opportunity.  I am confident that you will be encouraged and inspired to know that this program provides you with both the knowledge and practical tools to grow and expand your business, and connects you with a network of peers and mentors on which you can count. 


Entrepreneurship is a journey.  My hope is that you will allow us to walk alongside you on this exciting journey and support your success.  


Always remember: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great”. ( - Zig Ziglar)


Good luck to you, and know that we are here for you every step of the way – Fight On!


Rocio Flores

Chief Impact Officer

USC Credit Union

Ms. Flores currently serves as the Chief Impact Officer for the USC Credit Union.  As our previous Director, she oversaw all aspects of the Economic Development Program, among other outreach initiatives involving university partners and the local communities surrounding the University Park Campus and the Health Sciences Campus.  Previously to joining the University, Rocio worked at Resurrection School in Boyle Heights, where she was responsible for all development, fundraising, and marketing efforts. Rocio has worked both with the non-profit sector and government agencies.  She is currently the Vice President for the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce, a Foundation Board Member for NAWBO-LA and Steering Committee Member for CAMEO's Entrepreneurship Advantage.  Rocio is currently an EdD student in the USC Organizational Change and Leadership Program. She received two bachelor degrees from the University of California Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology Law and Society, as well as her master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University Long Beach.  She also holds an Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Rocio resides in El Sereno with her husband and 3 young children, and is actively involved in her community.

Message from our outgoing Director

Rocio Headshot.jpg
bottom of page