U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA):
8(a) Business Development

Mentor-Prot?©g?© Program

  • Description, Benefits, and Requirements
  • Mentor-Prot?©g?© Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
  • Mentor-Prot?©g?© Fact Sheet
  • Mentor-Prot?©g?© Program Overview
  • Mentor-Protege Program Briefing Charts PowerPoint or Zipped PowerPoint file
  • Mentor-Protege Agreement Template

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Mentor-Prot?©g?© program enhances the capability of 8(a) participants to compete more successfully for federal government contracts. The program encourages private-sector relationships and expands SBA’s efforts to identify and respond to the developmental needs of 8(a) clients.

Mentors provide technical and management assistance, financial assistance in the form of equity investments and/or loans, subcontract support, and assistance in performing prime contracts through joint venture arrangements with 8(a) firms.

The new program is offered under SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program serving disadvantaged firms. SBA’s 8(a) program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a business development initiative that helps socially and economically disadvantaged Americans gain access to economic opportunity. The program has provided an avenue for disadvantaged Americans to achieve entrepreneurial success and contribute to the strength and vigor of our economy.

What are the benefits of SBA’s Mentor-Prot?©g?© program?

Under SBA’s Mentor-Prot?©g?© program, prot?©g?©s can gain the following benefits:

  • Technical and management assistance: The mentor’s expertise, resources, and capabilities are made available to the prot?©g?©.
  • Prime contracting: Mentors can enter into joint-venture arrangements with prot?©g?©s to compete for government contracts.
  • Financial assistance in the form of equity or loans: Mentors can own equity interest of up to 40% in a prot?©g?© firm to help it raise capital.
  • Qualification for other SBA programs: A prot?©g?© can obtain other forms of SBA assistance as the result of its good standing in the Mentor-Prot?©g?© program.

What are the requirements to become a Prot?©g?©?

The prot?©g?© must meet the following requirements to participate in the program:

  • It must be in the developmental stage of the 8(a) BD program,
  • or have never received an 8(a) contract,
  • or have a size of less than half the size standard for a small business based on its primary SIC code.
  • It must be in good standing in the 8(a) BD program and be current with all reporting requirements.

Prot?©g?©s have only one mentor at a time.

What are the requirements to become a Mentor?

The mentor can be a business that has graduated from the 8(a) BD program, a firm in the transitional stage of the program, or a small or large business. A mentor must have the capability to assist the prot?©g?© and must make a commitment for at least a year. In addition, it must demonstrate the following:

  • that it enjoys favorable financial health, including profitability for at least the last two years,
  • that it is a federal contractor in good standing, and
  • that it can provide valuable support to a prot?©g?© through lessons learned and practical experience gained from the 8(a) BD program, or through its general knowledge of government contracting.

Generally, a mentor will not have more than one prot?©g?© at a time without SBA authorization.

How does a firm enter the program?

Mentor and prot?©g?© firms enter into an SBA-approved written agreement outlining the prot?©g?©’s needs and describing the assistance the mentor has committed to providing. The prot?©g?©’s servicing district office evaluates the agreement according to the provisions contained in 13 CFR 124.520. SBA conducts annual reviews to determine the success of the mentor-prot?©g?© relationship.

To apply for the program, contact your SBA District Office.

For additional information:
8(a) BD – Mentor-Prot?©g?© Program,
US Small Business Administration,
409 – Third Street, SW,
Washington, DC 20416,
Phone: (800) 827-5722

See also…

Government and Administrative Law

Business and Finance Law