The Department of Defense (DoD) Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) offers assistance to
small disadvantaged businesses by helping them expand the overall base of their marketplace participation which has produced more jobs and increased national income. It assists small businesses (protégés) in successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements.
Traditionally, these partnerships have delivered a variety of products and services
specialized in: environmental remediation, engineering services, information technology, manufacturing, telecommunications, and health care. Recently, new Mentor-Protégé agreements have focused on corrosion engineering, information assurance, robotics, circuit board and metal component manufacturing. The DoD hopes that future Agreements will focus on new technology areas such as radio frequency identification devices and enhanced security assurance.
To be eligible for the MPP a firm must be: 
- A Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) concern as defined by section 8(d)(3)(C) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(D)(3)(C)) which is:
- Eligible for the award of Federal contracts; and
- A small business according to the SBA size standard for the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code which represents the contemplated supplies or services to be provided by the protégé firm to the mentor firm; and
- Certified by the Small Business Administration as an SDB.
- A business entity that meets the criteria in above and is owned and controlled by either an Indian tribe as defined by section 8(a)(13) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(13)) or a Native Hawaiian Organization as defined by section 8(a)(15) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(a)(15)); and is certified by the Small Business Administration as an SDB.
- A qualified organization employing the severely disabled which self certifies that it meets the criteria for such entities defined in Pub. L. 102-172, section 8064A.
- A woman-owned small business (WOSB) which self certifies that it meets the criteria for such entities in accordance with the DFARS and by the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(3)(D).
- A qualified HUBZone small business concern as determined by the Small Business Administration in accordance with 13 CFR Part 126.
- A small business concern owned and controlled by service-disabled veterans (SDVOSB) as defined in Section 8(d)(3) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(3)).
Steps for participation in the Mentor-Protégé Program. 
- Establish a Counterpart
- Determine the Type of Agreement
- Develop Agreement
- Submit Agreement
- Proposal Start Agreement
- Reporting and DCMA Review Requirements
- Ask Questions
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