SBA adds vets, women to mentor-protégé program

Agency expands program beyond 8(a) small businesses

The Small Business Administration will expand the reach of it mentor-protégé programs it was announced during testimony on Sept. 15 during the House Small Business Committee Subcommittee on Contracting and Workforce.

At a hearing titled "Helping Small Businesses Compete: Challenges Within Programs Designed to Assist Small Contractors," Joseph Jordan, SBA's associate administrator for government contracting and business development, testified that the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 gave the SBA authority to implement additional mentor-protégé programs for HUBZone, women-owned, and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses. 

In the past the SBA's program was only open to disadvantaged businesses that participated in the 8(a) business development program. 

"We are in process of implementing these new programs," Jordan said at the hearing. "We conducted robust public outreach via a 13-city Small Business Jobs Act Tour and have held several meetings with various agency and public stakeholders to collect input and feedback on the implementation of these programs."

SBA is now drafting proposed regulations for public comment.

The mentor-protégé programs arranges relationships between experienced contractors and inexperienced small businesses to provide them business development assistance. The program provides incentives for mentor participation, such as credit toward subcontracting goals.

This hearing reviewed three recent Government Accountability Office reports including one that criticized the mentor-protégé programs for not tracking the results of the mentor-protégé relationships after they are formed. 

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

Reader Comments

Fri, Dec 21, 2012 Paul Lavin Phoenix, AZ

This news was very promising in 2011. However, we are now entering 2013 and I don't see the new poilicy enacted. Is there any update on when the SBA will start this program?

Sun, Sep 18, 2011 Ingrid Mendoza Washington DC

As a small, woman-owned business owner, this news is promising. The SBA has been a true advocate for small business contractors, particularly recently, and this new amendment to the program will add additional charge to the SBA's efforts to be our advocate.

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