Mentor Protégé Program
The Mentor Protégé Program is one of the programs and services provided by the Small Business Development Unit. In partnership with the Minnesota Unified Certification Program (MnUCP), its purpose is to further the development of certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms by providing training and assistance from other firms so that the small businesses may:
- Move into non-traditional areas of work
- Compete in the marketplace outside the DBE program
- Develop their capacity to compete on projects
Benefits of mentoring
- Establish a business-to-business relationship that allows firms to share their expertise and resources to further their business objectives and create a stronger economy with a more competitive business environment.
- Learn, evolve, and compete on projects of the Metropolitan Airport Commission, Met Council, Minnesota Department of Transportation, and the City of Minneapolis and in new markets.
- Increase the statewide capacity and availability of DBEs and help develop relationships that foster DBE participation on projects.
- Receive credit to partner with DBE firms, and DBEs receive assistance in developing their business.
Types of help provided
Common types of assistance that a mentor may provide a protégé include:
- Business planning
- Bidding and estimating
- Record keeping
- Technical assistance
- Capital formation
- Financial counseling
- Equipment use
Mentor Protégé agreements will vary based on the needs of the businesses involved.