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SBA Mentor-Protégé Program: How It Can Help Your Small Business

One professional pointing at a tablet while another man sits beside him.Follow in the footsteps of a successful government contractor to grow your small business. As a new federal contractor, you may have questions about the process of doing business with Uncle Sam. Discover how the Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) is offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and how it can help you learn from the best.

The Mentor-Protégé Program

This SBA mentorship program is designed to give small businesses invaluable contact with established contracting firms. Just like individual mentor-protégé relationships, this form of relationship can provide your company with the skills, action plan, and credibility it needs to do business with the U.S. government.

Merging the 8(a) and All Small Mentor-Protégé Programs

The SBA recently combined two programs to offer a more streamlined mentorship experience. Instead of weighing the differences between the All Small Mentor-Protégé and the 8(a) programs, you can apply for either through a single MPP application. This change occurred on November 16, 2020.

Benefits of Choosing a Mentor for Your Small Business

The Mentor-Protégé program allows you and a mentor contractor to create a joint venture for applicable small business contracts. As long as you qualify as a small business, you can take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Guidance: Take advantage of the strategic planning, accounting, and business management systems experience of your mentor.
  • Education: Find markets, create a Capability Statement, and learn more about your industry through this program.
  • Financial assistance: Find equity investments, bonding, and loan options available through the MPP.
  • Business development: Build relationships and identify key decision-makers in agencies you wish to do business with.
  • Proposal management: Learn how to prepare bids and develop compliant proposals to win more business for your small business.

These are a few of the benefits you receive from the joint venture. Your mentor, however, also enjoys a few advantages from this arrangement. Any SBA certifications you qualify for count toward the joint venture, meaning both companies as a team have access to women-owned, veteran-owned, HUBZone, and 8(a) set-asides.

How to Qualify As a Protégé

Mentors may bring their industry experience, financing, and federal contacts with them into the partnership, but protégés also have a lot to offer. To qualify as a protégé for this program, your business must meet the following qualifications:

  • Use an organizational structure that is for-profit or an agricultural cooperative
  • Identify a mentor before sending in your application
  • Comply with the small business standards outlined by the SBA.

The Mentor-Protégé Program Application Process

Once you determine you qualify, it’s time to fill out the application. The process takes a total of 105 days to process and includes several steps, so consider working with a management consultancy team to ensure you follow every step. Here are the basic steps in the process:

Grow Your Small Business With Rafael Marrero & Company

Choose Dr. Rafael Marrero as your expert guide to navigate the Mentor Protégé program application. From SBA certifications to completing the MPP agreement, Rafael Marrero & Company can assist you with nationally recognized expertise in federal contracting. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and speak with our seasoned business-to-government team.

Dr. Rafael Marrero

A nationally recognized expert in federal contracting, small business entrepreneurship, vendor, and project/program management. A graduate of the prestigious Stanford and Cornell Universities, Dr. Rafael Marrero is a former Fortune 500 procurement executive, two-time Inc. 500 honoree, network news commentator, and Amazon best-selling author.

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