Expanding opportunities for small businesses is a top priority for GSA. We need the kind of outstanding value, innovation, and services that only small business owners can offer. GSA’s Mentor-Protégé program makes seasoned GSA contractors and small businesses available to share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with small business owners. The program has helped increase small business participation in government contracting.
More than 100 small business representatives recently gathered at GSA Headquarters in Washington, DC for the third annual Mentor-Protégé Training. During the training sessions businesses learned about Mentor-Protégé policy updates, discussed effective practices and lessons learned over the past year.
GSA recognized International Business Machines, IBM with the 2013 GSA Mentor of the Year Award. IBM was recognized for demonstrating the most exceptional growth, business development, and overall performance. Incentive Technology Group (ITG), a Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB), is the protege company in this Mentor-Protégé agreement.
The program has more than 134 mentor-protégé relationships, and hundreds of contracts have been won by protégés thanks to assistance from their mentors.
During the follow-up Business Development Fair, many of the mentors joined our small business advocacy groups to provide counseling to small businesses to help them better achieve their goals. We also had participation from GSA’s acquisition workforce who provided information on obtaining GSA contract from the perspective of Public Buildings Service and the Federal Acquisition Service.
Contracting with small businesses is a win-win for both the federal government and the small business community. The government receives great service at great value, while small businesses gain opportunities to grow their businesses and create jobs.