If you’re a government contractor, you likely already know about the Small Business Administration’s new Small Business Mentor-Protégé Program (now also being referred to as the “All Small” Mentor-Protégé Program by the SBA). If you’re playing catch-up, you can find our initial thoughts on the Program here, our summary of Program pros and cons here, and our strategies for effective mentor-protégé teaming here.
The SBA started accepting applications for the Program on October 1, 2016. During this early roll-out period, applicants initiated enrollment by simply emailing the SBA and going through an interactive information disclosure. October applicants should expect to receive an update from the SBA soon prompting them to complete the administrative application process. This will include certifying at SBA.gov and uploading files into the SBA’s on-line repository.
Starting November 1, 2016, all applicants (that is, both prospective mentors and protégés) will be required to complete an on-line training module. This requirement is waived for October applicants. The SBA is hopeful that the full on-line application process (available through SBA.gov) will result in faster processing times for applicants.
As a reminder, the SBA website now offers a mentor-protégé agreement template that prospective applicants can utilize. While the template is fine for purposes of a basic outline, we advise against total reliance on any form document. Your partnering relationship is unique, and your ultimate agreement should reflect how each party intends to maximize the benefits of its participation.