Touted as a “game-changer” when it was first introduced in 2016, the U.S. Small Business Administration’s All Small Mentor-Protégé Program isn’t new anymore. Known now as simply the “SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, it is still extremely powerful for large and small contractors alike.
In this webinar, Gregory Weber and I will explain the ins and out of the SBA Mentor-Protégé Program, covering the program’s eligibility requirements, its potent benefits (including the ability to form special Mentor-Protégé Joint Ventures), the application process, and common misconceptions and pitfalls. Target Audience: Small Businesses (SDVOSB, WOSB, HUBZone, 8(a), SDB) and large businesses interest in doing business with the federal government. Please join us and register here. And thanks to Earl King of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development and Apex Accelerator for organizing this event.
The SBA’s Mentor-Protégé Program offers a myriad of benefits to both Mentors and Protégés who participate in the Program. Small business Protégés benefit from the assistance provided by their SBA approved Mentor, which can include anything from guidance on how to find solicitations and make offers, to financial support in the form of loans or bonding. Mentors benefit because participation allows them to compete for and be awarded contracts in which they may not otherwise qualify for. In fact, SBA even provides a bare bones template for Mentor-Protégé Agreements, complete with 21 yes or no questions that every Mentor-Protégé Agreement must include. A “yes” answer to any of those questions requires the applicant to provide additional information demonstrating why this should not disqualify the Mentor and Protégé from working together. But have you ever stopped to consider the reasoning behind these questions? Likely not, if you have never had to check a “yes” answer. However, knowing the “why” behind these questions is information that every small business federal contractor could benefit from. I’m going to take you through these questions to demystify their application, which will allow you to quickly identify potential problems in the future.
For practically the entire summer of 2021, we observed (and commented on) NIH’s numerous amendments to its long-awaited CIO-SP4 solicitation after it was finally issued in May 2021. By the time the deadline for proposals finally came, it had been amended eleven (!) times. Even with all those amendments, however, it appears that at least one offeror still had serious concerns about the final version. As it turns out, at least some of their concerns were warranted, per GAO, and has recommended the agency to amend the solicitation or revise its evaluation criteria.
I wrote earlier about the restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. Well, NITAAC has listened! OK, they probably weren’t listening directly to me, but let me have this one, alright. CIO-SP4 has been amended to allow large business mentors to contribute two examples of corporate experience per task area.
When it comes to federal contracting, teaming is an invaluable strategy for many businesses–large and small alike. But the rules and processes surrounding teaming can be complex and confusing, even for experienced contractors.
That’s why Koprince Law has teamed up ourselves–with the government contracts experts at The Pulse of Government Contracting to create special, in-depth Teaming Resource Guides for federal contractors and subcontractors. After an introduction to the basics of teaming, Part I of our series focuses on joint venturing, while Part 2 is a deep dive into prime/subcontracting teaming.
You can check out our Teaming Resource Guides by clicking here. And while you’re there, don’t forget to check out the other services our friends at Pulse offer to federal contractors!
The CIO-SP4 is a big deal for many small and large federal contractors. And lately it’s been a bit of a moving target as to how NITAAC will evaluate the experience of companies working together in prime-sub, mentor-protégé, and joint-venture relationships. We wrote about some of the issues with past performance and other recent changes. One change that caught my eye puts a restriction on the number of experience examples a large business mentor can provide. But should it?