SBA All Small Mentor-Protege Program: Annual Evaluation Forms Now Available

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.

Some of the information covered in the reports is no surprise: the regulations governing the All Small Mentor-Protege Program call for participants to report such things as “[a]ll technical and/or management assistance provided by the mentor,” “[a]ll loans to and/or investments made by the mentor in the protege,” subcontracts awarded by the mentor to the protege, prime contracts awarded to any mentor-protege joint ventures, and more.  The forms require participants to provide the information described in the regulations.

But some of the information requested in the forms goes beyond the black-and-white text of the regulations.  For example, the protege evaluation report calls for a list of all “new business skills, knowledge or opportunities” received from the relationship,” all “process improvements” made during the program year, and all “joint venture agreements developed” during the program year (even if no contracts were awarded to the joint venture).

The protege evaluation form also asks for “all offers submitted as a mentor-protege team” and “all offers submitted by the Protege (independent of the Mentor-Protege relationship”) during the program year.  This information isn’t required by the regulations, and I wonder whether SBA will use it (at least in part) to evaluate whether the protege may be too dependent on its mentor.  We’ll see.

The protege evaluation form also asks “How did you find your Mentor?”  It’s a good question, because prospective proteges often wonder how best to connect with larger mentors.  If the SBA makes some statistics available, it may help small businesses better target their efforts to locate qualified mentors.

The mentor addendum asks some of the same questions set forth in the protege evaluation form, such as information about all subcontracts awarded to the protege and all loans made.  No doubt SBA will compare the protege’s report with the mentor’s to make sure that both companies are reporting the same facts.

Under the SBA’s regulations, the annual report is due “[w]ithin 30 days of the anniversary of SBA’s approval of the mentor-protege agreement.”  The All Small Mentor-Protege program went online October 1, 2016, so no annual reports are due quite yet.  But for participants admitted in the early days of the program, it won’t be long before the annual reports are due–and now’s a good time to review what information the SBA will require.