Frequently Asked Questions
This summary is meant to provide commonly asked questions and answers regarding Treasury's Mentor-Protégé Program.
1. What firms are eligible to be mentor firms?
Treasury's Mentor-Protégé Program, Success Partnerships, is open to any firm (large or small) that demonstrates a commitment and capability to assist in the development of a small business protégé's). Although mentors can be large or small businesses, we anticipate the majority of the mentors will be large businesses. (The program excludes firms on the Federal List of Debarred or Suspended Contractors).
2. How does a firm become a mentor?
Before a government contract is awarded, mentors select a potential protégé and jointly apply to the Treasury Office of Small Business Development (OSBD) for review.
After a contract is awarded, a mentor-protégé arrangement may be created to help meet the mentor's subcontracting requirements. Treasury OSBD will make available an application form.
3. What does a firm gain from being a mentor in meeting its subcontracting obligations?
Mentor-Protégé arrangements are a good business decision for the mentor because they may develop good reach back skills sets that can be used to complement or diversify their company while competing for Treasury contracts. A good mentor-protégé relationship builds a trust and loyalty between the mentor and protégé.
Before awarding a contract that requires a subcontracting plan, the existence of a mentor-protégé arrangement, and performance (if any) under an existing arrangement, may be considered by the Contracting Officer.
Mentor-protégé arrangements may provide the Government with greater assurance that a protégé subcontractor will be able to perform under the contract than a similarly situated non-protégé subcontractor.
4. Are there any other benefits to being a mentor?
Yes. As stated above, the contracting officer may also include Mentor-Protégé agreements as an evaluation factor in the source selection criteria of an RFP, providing for additional consideration to those participating in the program.
Treasury OSBD has established a non-monetary award to be given annually to the mentor firm providing the most effective developmental.
5. What firms are eligible to be protégé firms?
ALL small businesses that meet the definition of small business concern at FAR 19.001, based on their primary NAICS code, are eligible to be protégé firms. This includes small businesses, including very small businesses, HUBZone small businesses, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned small businesses, Veteran-Owned and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses..
6. How does a firm apply to become a protégé?
Protégés either discuss the Mentor-Protégé Program to a larger firm they have been working with or are selected by a larger firm. In either instance, the mentor and protégé jointly submit an agreement to the Treasury OSBD for review. The application is available on this web site. Treasury does not keep a list of prospective mentors or protégés. However, we do offer a venue for meeting Treasury's prime contractors, and that is through the Prime Contractor Vendor Outreach Session held twice a year, in May and November.
A very important note is that very seldom does a small business gain a Treasury Mentor-Protégé agreement if you have not done business with the prospective mentor in the past. Since our program is a credit only program, the mentor is unlikely to spend time, money and effort on providing developmental assistance to an unfamiliar small business.
7. What does a firm gain from being a protégé in competition for government contracts?
Protégés gain opportunities to seek and perform government and commercial contracts through the guidance and support of mentors that may not have been available to them without the mentor-protégé relationship. The developmental assistance provided to the protégé often is a part of a subcontracting effort to the mentor.
8. Are there any other benefits to being a protégé?
Protégés may receive technical, managerial, financial, or any other mutually agreed upon benefit from mentors in addition to the work that flows from a government or commercial contract through subcontracting or teaming arrangements. The assistance could result in significant small business development.
Tips to Identify Potential Mentor Firms
1. Review the Forecast of Contract Opportunities to identify prime contractors that are performing work within you firm's area of expertise. Contact the point of contact at the incumbent firm to learn about work being performed at the Treasury Department.
2. Visit the potential mentor's website to learn about the firm. Specifically look for the small business section and/or contact the Small Business Liaison Officer.
3. Review information about the potential mentor's Mentor-Protege program, if they have one.
4. Attend prime contractor small business events. This is a great way to get to know the firm.
5. Attend Treasury Department sponsored Industry Days where prime contractors will be in attendance.
6. Be prepared to brief your company capabilities and discuss how your firm can enhance or add value to the potential mentor firm, as well as, the areas of growth your firm is seeking.