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In February 2015, the SBA published a proposed new Government wide mentor-protégé program for all small businesses; and on July 25, 2016, the final rule putting it into effect was published in the Federal Register. Rather than crafting four separate Mentor-Protégé programs for HUBZone firms, WOSB’s, SDVOSB’s and small businesses, the SBA decided to model a single all-inclusive Mentor-Protégé program after the successful 8(a) Business Development Program’s Mentor-Protégé program. Now, what was once only available to 8(a) firms, now benefits ALL certified small businesses!

Some of you may be thinking why is this important or what’s in it for me? Well, let me explain what the Mentor-Protégé program is so you can understand the benefits.

The purpose of the Mentor-Protégé program is to encourage approved mentors to offer business development assistance to protégé firms. According to the new regulations, the mentor firm can be any for-profit business with demonstrated commitment and ability to assist small businesses. The assistance from the mentor can come in various forms including: management and technical assistance, financial assistance (either through debt or equity), subcontracts, trade education, and/or assistance performing on prime contracts via joint ventures.

Now you may be wondering why a large business would want to be a mentor? The answer is simply one word… ACCESS. Since the SBA is the agency authorized to determine small business size standards, the mentor and protégé can enter into a formal, written Mentor-Protégé Agreement (MPA) and thereby be excluded from affiliation. Outside of an MPA, the SBA can determine a small business that is working with a large business “affiliated” with that company and, therefore, ineligible for small business contract opportunities. When that happens, the large company loses the benefit of its partnership with the small firm. An MPA through the new Mentor-Protégé Program eliminates this problem.

What does all this mean in English? Simply put, large businesses in an MPA can now gain access to contract opportunities set aside for small business by working with their protégé.


 Join GCA to unlock lots of cool contracting resources and training webinars  
 New Mentor Protege Program Expands to Include All Certified Small Businesses (webinar)  
 How to Find the Perfect Mentor (webinar)  
 Mentor Protege - Webinar Presentation Power Point (download)  
 New Mentor Protege - Final Rule  
 New Mentor Protege - Eligibility Requirements    
 New Mentor Protege - Application Process  
 How do I register my company to do contracting work on SAM.gov?  
 Quick Start Guide for migrating roles in SAM (for businesses previously registered in CCR)  
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