The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 8(a) Business Development (8(a) BD Mentor-Protégé Program is crafted to enable successful companies to provide “forms of business development assistance” to 8(a) Program Participants. The program’s goal is enhancing the capacity of participants to “be competitive, achieve entrepreneurial success and contribute to the U.S. economy.”
Becoming involved in the SBA’s program can mean the difference between success and failure for a small, struggling firm, and the importance of a mentor to a protégé cannot be overstated.
Recently, the Federal Register published their highly anticipated Final Rule, which includes changes to the Mentor-Protégé Program. The Program, which was previously limited to 8(a) Small Business Concerns, has been expanded. Effective August 24, 2016, it will be available to Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, HUBZones Small Businesses, and Women-Owned Small Businesses, as well as non-disadvantaged Small Business Concerns.
The changes within the Final Rule are welcome news to the millions of businesses that are now eligible for participation in the Mentor-Protégé Program. With their incredible value to their communities and the U.S. economy, small businesses are a crucial part of the marketplace. The SBA’s commitment to helping these firms better situates them to become successes and improve their environment and economy.