As many small business government contractors know, the SBA offers two mentor/protege programs: one reserved for 8(a) participants; the other, a universal program open to all small businesses—not just 8(a) companies.
Since the All-Small Mentor/Protege Program was rolled out in 2016, many have wondered why the SBA still runs two programs, instead of a single, consolidated program.
Fans of government efficiency, your cries are soon to be answered. Earlier today, the SBA issued a comprehensive proposed rule that, among other things, would consolidate the 8(a) Mentor/Protégé Program into the All-Small Mentor/Protégé Program.
With little fanfare, the SBA has updated the template for agreements under the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP). The new template adds a series of check box-style questions, mainly about potential affiliation between the mentor and protege. Be sure to check out the new template if you are working on a mentor-protégé agreement.
In 2016, SBA established the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, or ASMPP, enabling mentors of any size to provide business development assistance to small protégé businesses to enhance the protégé’s ability to compete for federal contracts. Since then, the ASMPP has served as a powerful tool for many businesses and, as of August 1, there were 885 active mentor-protégé agreements.
Recently, however, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General released a report highlighting some opportunities to improve the program and recommending SBA take additional steps to ensure compliance with the program’s requirements.
The Department of Energy has joined the ranks of government agencies aligning part of its respective small business regulations with the SBA.
The DOE has issued a class deviation expanding the pool of companies eligible to be proteges under the DOE mentor-protege program. This deviation comes almost 20 years after DOE first published guidelines for its formal DOE mentor-protégé program and almost three years after SBA formally established a government-wide mentor-protégé program.
In late 2016, the SBA rolled out a fantastic tool to help small business grow in the marketplace.
Here are five things you should know about the SBA All Small Mentor-Protégé Program:
The SBA’s All Small Mentor-Protege Program office has issued its annual evaluation forms for ASMPP participants. The purpose of the reports is to “determine whether the business is eligible to continue to participate in the All Small Business Mentor-Protege Program.”
The annual evaluation process requires participants to complete two forms: a nine-page protege evaluation report, and a separate five-page mentor evaluation addendum.
The SBA has published a list of active All Small mentor-protege agreements. The list, which is available on the SBA’s website, is dated April 5, 2017. It’s not clear how often the SBA intends to update the list.
The April 5 list reveals that there are approximately 90 active All Small mentor-protege agreements, covering a wide variety of primary industry classifications. All major socioeconomic categories (small business, 8(a), SDVOSB, HUBZone, EDWOSB and WOSB) are represented.
There’s no reason why mentor-protege pairings should be a secret. Kudos to the SBA for publishing the list, which will be useful to contracting officers and industry alike (as well as those of us who are simply curious by nature).