PTAP TIPS: New Options May Be on Horizon for Small-Business Mentoring

If you are unaware of the Mentor Protégé Program (MPP) and its benefit to small businesses, these are programs that the SBA currently has in place for certified 8(a) firms, and that other Federal agencies have in place specific for their procurements.

CIRAS RedThese arrangements allow small businesses to have a formal business mentor (usually a large business) that agrees to provide various resources to the small business (including past performance, experience working with the Federal Government etc.) and allow the MP team to create joint ventures to bid on contracts together.

What is the significance of a MPP J/V?

A small business is able to “partner” with a large business (again benefiting from their experience, resources etc.)  helping them be more competitive in the Federal market but keeping their small business status and able to bid on small business opportunities.

On the flip side the large businesses are able to participate in opportunities that they may not otherwise be able to due to their size, so it really is a win-win arrangement.

Certified 8(a) companies are very familiar with this arrangement, as it is one of that small business program’s biggest benefits for Federal contracting, and in 2010 Congress gave SBA the authority to create these same programs for all small businesses, to include the HUBZone program, woman owned small business and Service Disabled veteran Owned Small businesses, so all of these businesses would ideally have the same options for these business arrangements as the 8(a) companies.

Finally in 2015, the SBA has proposed a “universal” mentor protégé program for the aforementioned small businesses, to likely follow the same eligibility/benefits as the current 8(a) program.  The rule will be out for comment, and likely it would still be awhile before something is finalized and incorporated into the regulations, but it is moving.

This program will have a huge impact on small businesses and really would put them in another level of competitiveness, as they would be able to viably bid on larger scale projects and build past performance.

To view the proposed rule (the date for comments has passed): Click Here 

To read more about the 8(a) program and the MPP for an overview on how a new program likely would work:  Click Here

If you are a Woman Owned, HUBZone or Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small business and would like to know more about how this could affect you, or if you are a large business and would like to discuss how this could be a new business option for Federal contracts, let us know.

You can reach program director Pam Russenberger at or 515-509-7814.

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