By Dr. Hubert D. Glover
If your company is at the beginning stages of the SBA 8a Business Development program or considering applying you should consider the benefits of enrolling in the Mentor Protégé program.
The MP program allows 8a firms to align with a seasoned 8a company that has successful past performance, demonstrate effective management systems and other resources to assist your company to pursue business opportunities with the federal government. The MP program mentor can also be a large company and if it is an 8a company it can still be in the program before it graduates.
The benefits of the MP program is that the Mentor and Protégé can create a Joint Venture (there are multiple applications e.g. populated versus non populated) and this JV will be treated like a separate 8a entity. The past performance of the mentor assuming they have been successful can be added to the JV along with the protégé’s past performance, thus enhancing the offering to the targeted customer. The benefit is that the size of the mentor is not included in the NAICS code size determination for that particular procurement.
Another benefit is that the mentor has experience pursuing, winning, delivering and maintaining contracts and can share their lessons learned and lend them to the JV as a competitive advantage.
Our company was fortunate to enter into a MP agreement with a successful mentor which has helped us grow from 10 seasonal employees to more than 250 employees.
There are other mentor protégé programs that agencies offer like DOD as well as companies such as Lockheed Martin. However, the SBA MP program is the only one that excludes the size of the mentor from the JV that is formed.
The value of the SBA MP program is limited only to the time and planning of the two parties. The JV can win up to three contract awards and then the SBA allows creation of one more JV with the same number contract limitations—three awards. A personal value of the SBA MP program is that it allows successful companies to give back while experiencing an opportunity to continue to grow within the small business niche.
For more information regarding the SBA MP program please refer to www.sba.gov
Tags: Mentor, Protege, Mentor Protege Program, SBA, Small Business, Small Business Administration, 8a Business, Business Development, Joint Venture