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There are significant business opportunities in the Federal marketplace. However, if you’re a small business, it can be a bit difficult to get into, especially if you have to compete against larger, more experienced firms. The U.S. Small Business Administration 8(a) Business Development (BD) program was created to give small, disadvantaged businesses the opportunity to successfully grow and develop, particularly in the Federal marketplace. While the business development program provides participants with numerous benefits including training, technical assistance, and procurement assistance, among others, I want to highlight a few that are the most talked about:
2.Set aside opportunities – To meet their small business goals, the Federal government can reserve certain acquisitions for small businesses. A set aside, total or partial, can be for all small businesses or for a specific category of small business. For example, should a contracting agency identify two or more qualified 8(a) companies that are capable of fulfilling a contract’s requirements, that opportunity may be set-aside for 8(a) businesses. This means that if a company is not 8(a) certified it would not be able to compete for that opportunity. A set-aside opportunity is another way to limit competition and give 8(a) participants access to potential opportunities.
3.Teaming opportunities – Teaming is extremely beneficial for businesses. It should be included in a business’ strategy to build its capabilities and past performance, and to gain access to opportunities. The 8(a) program encourages teaming and does so through its Mentor-Protégé Program and joint venture (JV) opportunities. The Mentor-Protégé program is designed to enable successful firms to act as mentors and provide various forms of business development assistance to 8(a) program participants who are the protégés. The goal of the 8(a) BD Mentor-Protégé Program is to enhance the capabilities of 8(a) Program Participants and to improve their ability to successfully compete for both government and commercial contracts. In brief, a joint venture is when two or more businesses enter a temporary partnership. This partnering is usually associated with a specific contract or product that it is mutually beneficial to both businesses. By encouraging 8(a) participants to pursue teaming opportunities, SBA enables participants to succeed even after they exit the program.
In summary, there are many benefits for 8(a) BD program participants. These benefits ultimately help participants develop so they can successfully compete in the market during their 9-year program term and after.
Contact us at (808) 369-9710 to learn more about the 8(a) program, its benefits, and how we can assist you with becoming an 8(a) certified company.