The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced the launch of a new Mentor-Protégé Pilot Program. The pilot program was created to enhance the capability of minority and small business owners to successfully compete for and perform in federal procurement opportunities. Managed by DOT’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU), the program is designed to provide an opportunity for small businesses to create strategic alliances with successful large or prime contractors to receive technical assistance and move their businesses to the next level.
By encouraging and supporting private-sector relationships, DOT is expanding its efforts to identify and respond to the developmental needs of small and minority owned businesses. Through the pilot program, large and prime contractors will establish an agreement with small businesses to provide developmental assistance in areas such as project management, financial assistance, technical support, marketing techniques, cooperation on Joint Venture projects, and rent-free use of facilities among others. Mentor-Protégé agreements can be established for a maximum of 24 months.
The mentor can be a business that has graduated from the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program, a firm in the transitional stage of the program, or a small or large business. In addition, the mentor should be able to show that it is currently eligible for Federal contracting opportunities, is not under a suspension or debarment action, and is not in the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) database. The program is designed to strengthen the mentor’s strategic alliances within their industry and provide them with a greater network of potential partners.
A protégé can be a Small Business (SB), HUB Zone, Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB), Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB), including Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned Small Business (EDWOSB); Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB), or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB). The protégé should be able to show that it is currently eligible for Federal contracting opportunities, is not under a suspension or debarment action, and is not in the EPLS database.
“As part of our commitment to small businesses, it is our goal to find ways to increase small business participation in DOT and the federal market place. We are thrilled to launch this pilot program to provide small businesses with developmental assistance, increasing their ability to compete for and perform in federal procurement opportunities. We encourage business owners to take advantage of this program, gain procurement and marketing techniques, and foster long lasting strategic alliances,” remarked DOT’s OSDBU Director Brandon Neal.
Mentor and protégé firms are responsible for selecting their counterpart. The mentor is encouraged to select from a broad base of Small Businesses including SB, SDB, WOSB, EDWOSB, VOSB, SDVOSB, and HUBZone firms whose core competencies support DOT’s missions.
More information about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Mentor-Protégé Pilot Program is available at; http://osdbu.dot.gov/Procurement/mentor-protege.cfm.