Small businesses are underutilizing a mentor-protégé program that streamlines their access to the federal marketplace, say government officials. Known as the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, or ASMPP, the effort provides small businesses with a new avenue into federal contracting.
Developed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), the ASMPP fits a niche and fills a need that had been a gap for some time, said Lori Gillen, ASMPP director at the SBA. Sandi Clifford, ASMPP deputy director, explained at an AFCEA Small Business Committee presentation that it was modeled and expands on the SBA’s 8(a) mentor-protégé program by opening doors for non-8(a) firms under the umbrella of a single governmentwide program for all small businesses. It does not involve the Defense Department, which has its own mentor-protégé program, nor the Federal Aviation Administration, as neither comes under the purview of the Small Business Act.
“It helps streamline access for small firms to get into the federal marketplace; it helps enhance business capabilities and growth potential through mentoring with large—or other small experienced—federal contractors; it helps increase the protégé firm’s wealth and create jobs through government contracts; and it also helps large mentor firms develop and increase their supply chain through building capable small business contractors,” Clifford declared.
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