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A Mentor-Protégé Program to Support Small Business Growth
August 29, 2017 Tatiana Bertolo, Office of Small Business
Tagged: Exporting Tips

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established a Mentor-Protégé Program for businesses that qualify per the SBA’s size standards that is based off the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. A protégé is connected to a mentor for the purpose of providing business development assistance to help businesses grow their sales domestically, compete for government contracts and/or grow internationally. Mentors have to be a federal contractor in good standing with the U.S. government and they can be a for-profit business of any size. More details about the type of assistance and eligibility are found below.

There are six types of assistance that a mentor-protégé relationship can adhere to, which is described below. Once the mentor and protégé agree on the type of assistance, they will be required to write a Mentor Protégé Agreement (MPA) describing the type of assistance needed:

  1. Management and Technical Assistance
  2. Finance Assistance
  3. Contract assistance
  4. International Trade Education
  5. Business Development Assistance
  6. General and/or Administrative Support

Below are the eligibility requirements for the mentor-protégé program:

  • Protégés must have a Mentor identified prior to applying to the program.

Protégés must self-certify as “small” in the NAICS code in which they are seeking business development assistance. An approved Mentor-Protégé pairing may be a joint venture as a small business for any government prime contract or subcontract, provided the Protégé qualifies as small for the procurement. This applies to every federal agency and DoD whether or not they participate.

  • Participants can be both a Protégé and Mentor if no competition or conflict exists.
  • Protégés and Mentors must be organized “for profit” or as “agricultural cooperative.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the mentor protégé program, contact your local SBA district office to see if it’s the right fit for your business.

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