General Information

What are the requirements to become a Protégé?

The protégé must meet the following requirements to participate in the program: It must be in the developmental stage of the 8(a) BD program, or have never received an 8(a) contract, or have a size of less than half the size standard for a small business based on its primary NAICS code. It must be in good standing in the 8(a) BD program and be current with all reporting requirements. Protégés firm may generally have only one mentor at a time. The Associate Administrator for Business Development (AA/BD) may approve a second mentor.

What are the requirements to become a Mentor?

The mentor can be a business that has graduated from the 8(a) BD program, a firm in the transitional stage of the program, or a small or large business. A mentor must have the capability to assist the protégé and must make a commitment for at least a year. In addition, it must demonstrate the following: that it enjoys favorable financial health, including profitability for at least the last two years, that it is a federal contractor in good standing, and that it can provide valuable support to a protégé through lessons learned and practical experience gained from the 8(a) BD program, or through its general knowledge of government contracting. Generally, a mentor will not have more than one protégé at a time without SBA authorization.

What are the benefits of SBA's Mentor-Protégé program?

Under SBA's Mentor-Protégé program, protégés can gain the following benefits: technical and management assistance: the mentor’s expertise, resources, and capabilities, prime contracting opportunities, mentors can enter into joint-venture arrangements with protégés to compete for any federal contract, financial assistance in the form of equity investments or loans, mentors can own equity interest of up to 40% in a protégé firm to help it raise capital. Qualification for other SBA programs: A protégé can obtain other forms of SBA assistance as the result of its good standing in the Mentor-Protégé program.

How does a firm enter the Mentor-Protégé program?

Mentor and protégé firms enter into an SBA-approved written agreement outlining the protégé’s needs and describing the assistance the mentor has committed to providing. The protégé’s servicing SBA District Office evaluates the agreement according to the provisions contained in 13 CFR 124.520. SBA conducts annual reviews to determine the success of the mentor-protégé relationship.

Event Information

event form

Register for an event today
Meet with Mentors & Protégés

National 8(a) Training, Business Matchmaking, and Awards Ceremony

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce is pleased to present the National 8(a) Training, Business Matchmaking, and Awards Ceremony event! This event is free to attend, and advance registration is required. Small disadvantaged businesses and 8(a) firms interested in attending may click here to register.

Join us on October 10, 2012, in Washington, DC, for an event focusing on minority-owned businesses and their critical role as cornerstones of communities. Representatives from minority-owned businesses can expect to attend informative training sessions and possibly be selected for pre-scheduled business matchmaker meetings with various federal agencies and federal prime suppliers. Additionally, an awards ceremony will be held to recognize the winners of:

• SBA's Regional Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award (10 winners, one from each region)
• SBA's National Minority Small Business Person of the Year Award
• SBA's 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award
• SBA's Administrator's Achievement Award

Training sessions offered:

Success! -- A panel of successful 8(a) Business Development Program Graduates will share their stories. You will learn strategies for maximizing your firm’s time while in the program as well as what experiences graduates have upon exiting the program.
TEAMS! – These training sessions will focus on the critical components required for successful joint venture and mentor-protégé arrangements within the 8(a) Program.

The following agencies and companies have confirmed participation at the day's matchmaking sessions. Check back often as this list will be updated as additional participants are confirmed:


Click here for a copy of the full agenda.

Click here to register for the event.