The 8(a) Mentor Protégé Program: Opportunities for Large and Small Businesses

Under the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) 8(a) Mentor-Protégé program, large businesses provide various forms of business development assistance to small businesses participants, including, for example, technical and/or management assistance, financial assistance, and assistance in performing prime contracts. The program, whose governing regulations are set out in 13 C.F.R. Part 124, offers substantial opportunities for large businesses to participate in performance of federal government contracts through partnering with 8(a) program participants on a variety of contractual arrangements, including set-aside procurements, subcontracts, and prime contracts.

Mentors and Protégés: How to Qualify

  • Any business or non-profit entity that “demonstrates a commitment and ability to assist developing 8(a) Participants” may act as a mentor.
  • To be a mentor, a business must demonstrate that it 1) possesses favorable financial health; 2) possesses good character; 3) does not appear on the Federal list of debarred or suspended contractors; and 4) can impart value to a protégé firm. Mentors must submit copies of financial statements to the SBA. A mentor may have more than one protégé at a time under certain circumstances, subject to approval by the Associate Administrator for 8(a) Business Development (“AA/BD”)...

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