Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP)

How to Participate

A Step-by-Step Approach to Participation in the Department of Defense Mentor-Protégé Program

Visit our Resources page for a list of templates, applications, and other useful documents.

Below are the fundamental steps to participating in the DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP). In addition to the simple outline provided here, detailed briefings are available in the OSBP office and are encouraged.

1. Establish a Counterpart

Mentors and Protégés are solely responsible for finding their counterpart. Legislatively, DoD Offices of Small Business Programs (OSBP) participation in the teaming of partnering Mentors and Protégés is prohibited. Therefore, we strongly encourage firms to explore existing business relationships in an effort to establish a Mentor-Protégé relationship.

Communication, Compatibility, and Commitment are key to a successful Agreement!

A Mentor firm must be currently performing under at least one active approved subcontracting plan negotiated with DoD or another Federal agency pursuant to FAR 19.702, and be currently eligible for the award of Federal contracts. New Mentor Applications must be approved and may be submitted to and approved by the OSBP of the cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency (if concurrently submitting a reimbursable Agreement) or to the DoD OSBP office prior to the submission of an Agreement.

A Protégé firm must be either a small disadvantaged business (SDB), a qualifying organization employing the severely disabled, a women-owned small business (WOSB), a service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB), or located in a historically underutilized business zone (HUBZone).

Protege certifications:

SDB Review the policy memo for certification
WOSB Self-certification is sufficient
Organization employing severely disabled Must comply with Section 8046A PL 102-172
SDVOSB As defined in Section 8(d)(3) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 637(d)(3))
HUBZone As determined by the SBA in accordance with 13 CFR part 126.

Active Program Participants
DoD Subcontracting Directory

2. Conduct a Needs Assessment

An objective assessment of the needs of sponsoring DoD Service or DoD/IC Agency component customers, Protégé technology readiness levels (TRLs), and DoD/IC Mentor resources which include measurable milestones, is strongly recommended prior to the development of an Agreement.

3. Determine the Type of Agreement

There are two types of DoD MPP Agreements, directy reimbursed or credit.

Direct Reimbursed
Direct reimbursed Agreements are those in which the Mentor receives reimbursement for allowable costs of developmental assistance provided to the Protégé. These Agreements are approved by the OSBP of the Cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency as outlined in DFARS Appendix IExternal Link.

Directy reimbursed Agreements may have additional requirements implemented by the Cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency OSBP. For more information on additional requirements for Directy Reimbursed agreements, contact the Cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency Program Manager.

Credit Agreements are those in which the Mentor receives a multiple of credit toward their SDB subcontracting goal based on the cost of developmental assistance provided to the Protégé. Credit agreements are currently approved by the DCMA.

Further details on Directy Reimbursed agreements and Credit agreements can be found in the FAQ section of this site.

4. Develop Agreement

Developmental assistance should align with the Protégé's strategic vision. MPP agreements must meet requirements set forth in DFARS Appendix IExternal Link and the DoD Mentor-Protégé Agreement template.

Please note: A Protégé firm may have only one active DoD MPP Agreement at any given time.

5. Submit Agreement Proposal

For directy reimbursed Agreement submissions, submit your Agreement proposal to the OSBP of the cognizant Military Service or Defense Agency.

For credit Agreement submissions, submit your agreement proposal to the DCMA.

6. Start Agreement

Credit agreements start on the date they are approved. Directy reimbursed Agreements start on the date the specific contract vehicle is modified (the date funds obligated to the contract). Mentors cannot incur cost for credit or reimbursement until the agreement has been approved.

7. Reporting and DCMA Review Requirements

Semi-annual reports, annual DCMA performance reviews, and Protégé 2-year out reports are required for each DoD MPP Agreement. DCMA annual performance reviews shall be a major factor in determining the amount of reimbursement the Mentor firm is eligible to receive in the remaining years of directy reimbursed Agreement participation.

Reporting templates can be found on our Resources page.

8. Ask Questions

Detailed Mentor-Protégé Program briefings are available by appointment. If you have any questions about the program process, protocol, requirements, or benefits, please email