Prior to the Small Business Administration’s ruling on July 25th, the Mentor-Protege Program was only open to those businesses that were certified as an 8(a) company. While the Program will remain separate for 8(a) companies, the program itself will be almost identical.
The Program is designed to assist the Protege with developing their business. Protege’s must submit a business plan which is approved by the SBA. This business plan then becomes the goals that the Mentor will assist in achieving. Not every relationship is the same, they are built on the needs and the strengths of the companies involved.
So as a Protege what type of mentors can you expect? A Mentor can be a company of any size but must be a for-profit entity. The only other requirement is that the Mentor must be able to demonstrate that it can fulfill all obligations needed by the Protege.
On the flip side, how do you become a Protege? You must qualify as a small business, which is determined by the size standard of the primary NAICS code. The SBA is also allowing for companies to submit an application to the program under their secondary NAICS if that is the business that the company is attempting to develop.
The new ruling will officially take effect August 24th and is rumored that the SBA will begin accepting applications to the program October 1st.
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