Government Agency Small Business / Mentor Protégé Programs (MPP)

The first two posts in this three part series discussed small business mentoring and development programs available through private industry and several professional associations in the construction industry.  The focus of this post as the finale is to provide an overview of mentoring programs available through government agencies.  Most government agencies have a Mentor-Protégé program that encourages agreements between large and small business prime contractors and eligible small business protégés.  Mentor-Protégé Programs are designed to motivate and encourage firms to assist small businesses with business development.  Also, many of the agency MPP websites include links to:

  • The necessary documents for applying
  • An overview of the application process
  • Benefits to the mentor and protégé
  • Lists of existing mentors, portages, and/or current program agreements

Please refer to the list at the end of acronyms and terms.

Small Business Administration 8(a) MPP

SBA Image

The 8(a) Business Development (BD) MPP is designed to enable successful firms to provide various forms of business development assistance. The goal of the 8(a) BD Mentor-Protégé Program is to enhance the capability of 8(a) Program Participants to be competitive and achieve entrepreneurial success.

Protégé Requirements

Mentor Qualifications

Must be an 8(a) BD program member and in good standing. Must possess favorable financial health, including profitability for two years.
Must not have received an 8(a) contract previously. Must possess good character.
Must meet certain size restrictions (see the SBA’s website for details). Must not appear on the federal list of debarred or suspended contractors.
Must be able to impart value to the protégé through practical experience gained through the 8(a) program.

See CFR 124.520 “What are the rules governing SBA’s Mentor/Protégé program?” for additional information.

Department of Defense (DOD)

DoD MP Image

The DoD MPP assists small businesses (protégés) to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.  There are two types of agreements under the DoD program: Direct Reimbursement and Credit (refer to the website for additional information.

Protégé Requirements

Mentor Qualifications

A qualifying organization employing the severely disabled. The Mentor firm must be currently performing under at least one active approved subcontracting plan negotiated with DoD or another Federal agency pursuant to FAR 19.702.
WOSB Eligible for the award of Federal contracts.
HUBZone New Mentor Applications must be approved and may be submitted to and approved by the OSBP of the cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency (if concurrently submitting a reimbursable Agreement) or to the DoD OSBP office prior to the submission of an Agreement.
SDB
SDVOSB
A businesses that are owned and controlled by an Indian tribe or a Native Hawaiian organization.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA MPP Image

The purpose of the VA MPP is to provide developmental assistance to Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses and Veteran-Owned Small Businesses that will enhance their capabilities to perform as prime contractors and subcontractors on VA procurements.  If you are interested in applying, the VA program only accepts applications during specified open enrollment periods; refer to the website periodically for updates and announcements.

Protégé Requirements

Mentor Qualifications

Limited to protégés that provide goods or services the VA procures. May be small or large business and either a prime or subcontractor.
Protégés must be verified by CVE as a VOSB or SDVOSB and maintain their status. Must be able to provide appropriate developmental assistance.
VOSB or SDVOSB Financial capacity to provide development assistance to the protégé.
Limited to one VA mentor at a time.

 

General Services Administration (GSA)

GSAlogo

GSA’s MPP is designed to encourage and motivate GSA prime contractors to assist small businesses and enhance their capability of performing successfully on GSA contracts and subcontracts. The goal is to increase the overall number of small businesses receiving GSA prime contract and subcontract awards, resulting from mentorship and refined business practices.

Protégé Requirements

Mentor Qualifications

To be eligible for selection as a protégé, your small business can qualify by simply being a small business (SB, SDB, WOSB, HUBZone, VOSB, SDVOSB). Must be a prime contractor on a GSA Schedule or GSA contracting vehicle, such as a BPA, IDIQ, or GWAC.  If your business is large, that vehicle must include an approved subcontracting plan as required by FAR 19.7
Your business must meet the definition of a small business concern outlined at FAR 19.001. Per this regulation, it is the Small Business Administration that establishes small business size standards on an industry-by-industry basis. As a mentor, you must be able to guarantee that you can provide developmental assistance to enhance the capabilities of protégés to perform as

  • Contractors,
  • Subcontractors, and /or
  • Suppliers
A small business prime contractor is NOT required to have an approved subcontracting plan in place to qualify as a mentor.

Department of State

DoS Image

The DoS MPP is designed to motivate and encourage large business prime contractor firms to provide mutually beneficial developmental assistance to SBs, VOSBs, SDVOSBs, HUBZone small businesses, SDBs, and WOSBs.  The program is formulated to foster the establishment of successful long-term business relationships between State Department, large prime contractors and small business subcontractors thereby improving the performance of both.  The program is intended to strengthen subcontracting opportunities and accomplishments at the State Department.

Protégé Requirements

Mentor Qualifications

Small in the NAICS code for the services or supplies to be provided by the protégé to the mentor Capable of providing appropriate developmental assistance to enhance the capabilities of protégés to perform as contractors and/or subcontractors.
An SB, HUBZone, SDB, WOSB, VOSB, or SDVOSB as those terms are defined in FAR 2.101 May be either a large or small business
Protégés may have multiple mentors. Protégés participating in mentor-protégé programs in addition to DoS’s program should maintain a system for preparing separate reports of mentoring activity for each agency’s program. Will be encouraged to enter into arrangements with protégés and firms with whom they have established business relationships
Mentors may have multiple protégés. However, the DoS reserves the right to limit the total number of protégés participating under each mentor firm for the Mentor Protégé Program

Other Agency Programs

Agency

Link

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) http://goo.gl/56E8mK
Department of Energy http://goo.gl/QuPqMX
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) http://goo.gl/HQBxMf
Department of Treasury http://goo.gl/BvPwl4
Federal Aviation Administration http://goo.gl/mzAChH
NASA http://goo.gl/3Fnncx
USAID http://goo.gl/Tdy6zm

Acronyms and Terms

CVE – Center for Veterans Enterprise

FAR – Federal Acquisition Regulations

HUBZone – HUBZone Small Business

MPP – Mentor-Protégé Program

NAICS – North American Industry Classification System

OSBP – Office of Small Business Programs

PTAC – Procurement Technical Assistance Center

SDB – Small Disadvantaged Business

SDVOSB – Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business

VOSB – Veteran Owned Small Business

WOSB – Women Owned Small Business

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8 thoughts on “Government Agency Small Business / Mentor Protégé Programs (MPP)

  1. Yes, great article. Thanks for your compilation. Our post was wondering about using this as a topic for discussion at our fall Small Business panel, but wasn’t even sure what it was, but glad to see a formal program out there.

    • Drew,

      Thanks for the question, the quick answer is the first two articles are available.

      First, a brief explanation of the series. The three part series was intended to inform small business contractors on several resources available to help them grow their business. The article you reviewed and referenced addressed mentor-protege programs, one of the resources available. The other two articles are: 1) Mentoring and Training Resources for Small Business Federal Subcontractors posted on January 14th, 2014; (http://goo.gl/1IJOoC) and 2) Construction Professional Association Small Business Programs posted on February 5th, 2014 (http://goo.gl/PbQgG3). The links should get you straight to the articles.

      Let me know if you have any other questions or comments.

      Cheers,
      Carl

      • Thanks for your response Carl, You are a gentleman and a scholar. I look forward to reading the articles.
        Drew C. Bjorklund

    • Mark,

      Good question. The short answer is it depends. There are several factors for consideration. First the new MPP rules have not be published so you will need to comply with the current requirements. Second, it will depend on how your company will pursue projects (JV, teaming, solo). Third, how is your MPP agreement structured.

      The best advice I can give based on the information in your question is for you to speak with an attorney familiar with small business subcontracting, in particular construction. It is critical to structure the agreement correctly and that it is synced with your project pursuit strategy. There are a couple out there I can refer you to, email me – carl@cwgassociatesllc.com if you would like that information. Here is another blog by Steve Koprince – http://smallgovcon.com/ – that is a great reference.

      Carl

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