Yes, No, Maybe? Understanding the Reason Behind SBA-Required Mentor-Protégé Agreement Questions

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.

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Department of Defense Proposes Rule to Reauthorize and Improve the Mentor-Protégé Program

The Department of Defense (DoD) has proposed to revise the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) to reauthorize and improve the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP). The primary purpose of the proposed rule (Proposed Rule) is to reauthorize the DoD MPP, provide incentives to large DoD contractors to serve as mentors to small businesses, and extend opportunities for small businesses to participate in the MPP. In addition, the proposed rule removes restrictions on the eligibility of small businesses by aligning the size of the small business with the size standard associated with its primary NAICS code.

The Proposed Rule is here.

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