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Explore Partnering and Subcontracting

Becoming a subcontractor can help you experience what it’s like to work on a government contract.

Build a Mentor-Protege Relationship

What is a Mentor-Protégé Relationship?

A mentor-protégé relationship is a valuable partnership between an experienced contractor (mentor) and a smaller, less experienced contractor (protégé). This relationship is designed to help the protégé gain valuable knowledge, skills, and resources from the mentor, while the mentor gains the opportunity to expand their network, give back to their industry, and potentially collaborate on projects with the protégé.

In this relationship, the mentor provides guidance, advice, and support to the protégé, helping them navigate the challenges of the construction industry and grow their business. This can include sharing insights on bidding processes, project management, financial planning, and technical expertise. The protégé, in turn, benefits from the mentor's experience and connections, leading to potential new opportunities and growth for both parties.

Why should I build a Mentor-Protégé Relationship?

By establishing a strong mentor-protégé relationship, small contractors can fast-track their business development, strengthen their capabilities, and gain a competitive edge in the market. This mutually beneficial partnership ultimately helps both mentor and protégé thrive in the construction industry.

How can I learn more?

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has a program called the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program (ASMPP). This program aims to encourage the development of mentor-protégé relationships between small businesses and larger, more experienced firms. The goal is to help small businesses enhance their capabilities, gain access to new opportunities, and improve their ability to compete for government contracts. You can find more information about the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, its eligibility criteria, and the application process on the SBA's official website.

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Find the Right Partner

Why should I seek out partners?

Partnering with another firm on a bid opportunity is a great way to grow your business and expand your capabilities.

If you’re just starting out, a subcontracting partnership can help you improve your business management and other industry-specific skills.

How do I find partners?

Attending pre-bid meetings for opportunities you are interested in is also a great way to introduce yourself to prime contractors. Creating a strong capability statement ahead of time and sharing it with representatives from larger firms is a good way to start.