DoD Mentor-Protege Program


The Department of Defense (DoD), Mentor Protege Program was established in October 1991 to expand and enhance small business participation in DoD contracting opportunities and expand the technical capabilities, capacity and overall growth of socio-economic small businesses. The focus of this program is to also develop participants to expand, improve, diversify and innovate the Department's Supply chain. Focused on assisting small businesses to perform on both prime and subcontracts towards being competitive, best in class partners in the defense industrial base in obtaining and performing on DoD subcontracts and serving as suppliers on DoD contracts. This assistance listing seeks to expand participation in the program, provide developmental assistance that will strengthen and build the Department's supply chain, national security and partners in the DIB. Awards fund the mentor's labor costs, assistance in mentoring received by Historically Black Colleges and Universities, MInority Serving Institutions, Apex Accelerators (formerly Procurement Technical Assistance Centers), Manufacturing Innovative Institutions and other direct costs (on a case by case basis, example travel).

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Immediate Office of The Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
M - Training
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2022 The Mentor Protégé Program aims to develop Social Economic Small Businesses (SBDs, WOSBs, SDVOSBs, HUBZones, Native American Businesses, and Entities that employ the severely disabled, and non-traditional companies into innovative, viable, and competitive suppliers to the Defense Department. In FY2022 protégé firms received $4.9B of the DoD's prime contract awarded dollars and of that $160M represents active performing protégés. The program recognizes high performing agreements through our annual Nunn Perry Awards that acknowledges protégé companies' growth in employees, revenue and contract awards. In over the previous 2 fiscal years an estimated 25% of active agreements were nominated. Based on the forty-seven annual reviews completed in FY21, 81% of the Protégé firms experienced employee growth during the reporting period. Over the last 10 years (FY12-FY21) the average Protégé participant has experienced a net employee gain of over 16 totaling 10,212 small business jobs for participant Protégés. In the last 3 years that average has increased 23 employee net gain per Protégé. Based on the forty-seven annual reviews completed in FY21, 87% of the Protégé firms experienced revenue growth during the reporting period for an average revenue net gain of $9.8 million per participant Protégé, that is a total net revenue increase $459.1 million for all 47 Protégé participants. In FY 2022 former Protégés have contributed to the Defense industrial base through prime contracts in the areas of transportation, engineering services, construction, computer services, ship building, R&D, aircraft manufacturing, and other areas.
10 U.S.C. 387 Sub Chapter 1
Department of Defense Mentor Protege Program established October 1, 1991 to enhance and improve small businesses performance, capacity, and capabilities as agile, innovative and competitive suppliers in the Defense Industrial Base. The purpose of the Program is to provide incentives to major DoD contractors to furnish eligible small business concerns with assistance designed to— (1) Enhance the capabilities of eligible small business concerns to perform as subcontractors and suppliers under DoD contracts and other contracts and subcontracts; and (2) Increase the participation of such business concerns as subcontractors and suppliers under DoD contracts, other Federal Government contracts, and commercial contracts.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligibility criteria for this assistance: 1. Small Disadvantaged Businesses (owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals) 2. Women-Owned Small Businesses 3. Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses 4. Historically Underutilized Business Zone Businesses 5. Native Hawaiian Organization, Native American Tribe 6. A small business concern that is a non traditional defense contractor or currently provides goods or services in the private sector that are critical to enhancing the capabilities of the defense supplier base and fulfilling key Department of Defense needs 7. DoD approved Mentor Companies
Beneficiary Eligibility
Not applicable.
Mentor Protege application that describes in detail the developmental assistance that will be provided to the protege firm. Included should be a detailed cost breakdown of the developmental assistance being offered as well as timeline. An example application is available at
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is required. Before a mentor protege application can be considered, the mentor firm must first apply and be approved as a mentor in the Program. Application available at
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Eligible applicants will respond to assistance opportunity announcements and adhere to the guidance issued under that announcement (issued via a DoD Contracting Activity) and apply with a proposal for a mentor protege agreement through the DoD Office of Small Business Programs or one of the other DoD Components for approval.
Award Procedure
1. A call for mentor protege proposals will be announced 2. Assistance is awarded through DoD Contracting Activity 3. Approval is received from DoD Office of Small Business Programs and/or other DoD Components 4. Assistance is awarded as a cost reimbursement to the mentor firm
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 90 to 120 days.
Because the approval is performed at DoD Component levels guidance pertaining to appeals/reworks/resubmissions are determined by their individual funding announcements.
Extensions must be justified and requested through the approval Component and the DoD Office of Small Business Programs not to exceed a total period of performance of 5 years. A clear detail of additional assistance being provided is required along with detailed costs and timelines. Additional funding may be sought not more than $1M per year.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
see description in Overview
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: Monthly program performance reviews are performed with the approving DoD Components for all approved mentor protege agreements. Reviews include a close look at the developmental assistance submitted, the timeline, execution of funds awarded, risks, and any mitigation plans.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Funding is available at any time during the Government fiscal year. Performance participation is on average up to 3 years. Awards are annually funded incrementally up to a 12 month period of performance for each performance timeframe. Recent legislation codified the program permanently and therefore there are no time restrictions placed on spend with respect to the money. However, invoices should be submitted within the year of award/obligation. Assistance in this program is awarded incrementally for each approved mentor protege agreement. DoD Components award and release approved agreements.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None/Not specified.
Headquarters Office
Kasey Diaz
3010 Pentagon, Room 3B854
Washington, DC 20300 USA
Phone: 571-372-6191
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Training) FY 22$33,000,000.00; FY 23 est $37,263,000.00; FY 24 est $42,456,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
1. Range of awards: $100K - $1M per year for an average of three years 2. Approximate average award size - $450K - $500K
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2022 1. project focused development on architecting and building continuous integration pipelines, DevOps-enabled processes, and Cloud-ready solutions for on-prem, commercial/classified/Gov Cloud, and hybrid IT systems 2. project's developmental assistance focused on Aerospace technical capabilities in affordable composites manufacturing and related capabilities for future DoD awards 3. project's developmental assistance focused on the production of components for optical devices that are critical to functions in the military, medical, and industrial industries. Many that are used in hazardous environments, in devices relied upon by war fighters and doctors to accomplish their missions. 4. project focused on enhancing technical capabilities and business infrastructure in support of core missions 5. project focused on design and Manufacturing with a focus on 3D printing and inclusive of student summer hires that could result in training of future workforce. 6. Project focused on improvement of general business management corporate infrastructure and engineering and technical processes 7. Prototype Development Mentoring and Training, machine learning and training, supply chain mentoring and training, and license and distribution training.


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