One of the nation's largest private equity firms is scheduled to announce Friday that it is giving $3.5 million to create a joint entrepreneurship program at USC,
The donation from the charitable arm of New York-based
The goal is to spur job creation in today's slow-growth economy, said
"We're trying to touch as many people as we can to get them to create a business of their own," Schwarzman said.
Blackstone's Launchpad initiative is based on a successful program started six years ago at the
The program at the three Southern California schools is the sixth Launchpad project, following efforts at universities in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida and Montana.
The donation to the local schools is part of a $50-million initiative that Blackstone announced in 2010 to spur entrepreneurship and job creation.
"It's about strengthening the ecosystems in these regions," said Amy Stursberg, executive director of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation. "Entrepreneurship is the great equalizer. It doesn't matter if you're at Harvard or the community college. You can start your business."