About the MPP

The Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) was started in the fiscal year 1991 in response to an abundance of contractors unable to meet their subcontracting goals. These prime contractors claimed there were not enough small businesses that can meet the requirements and expectations of performance. The program was designed to increase the small business industrial base.

The DOD’s Mentor-Protégé Program is currently open and they are currently accepting new agreements, extended through September 30, 2024. Anything awarded by that deadline will be active until September 30, 2026. The agreement length has changed from three years to two years, one base year with one option year. The goal is to increase it back to three years, however, negotiations are still in process.

This program is completely separate from that of the SBA’s Mentor-Protege Program. Having an existing SBA MPP agreement does not disqualify you from also being a participant with the DOD MPP. There is no limit to how many agreements a mentor can have, so do not let that deter you from trying.



Protégé participants must meet the small business size standard based on their primary NAICS code. Applications to the program must be completed with the DOD. All Mentors must be approved at the DOD level.

Each Protege does not require approval but should have a Mentor lined up without depending on the program to find you one. This should be someone you’ve already worked with, built rapport with, and have a good understanding of what each does and how well you work together.

The DOD does have a list of approved mentors, whom you are free to reach out to and build a relationship with but not to expect them to match-make for you. This is your responsibility.

The MPP (Mentor-Protégé Program) Guidebook is in the process of being updated on the DON OSBP (Office of Small Business Programs) website, which will be available within the next couple of weeks.


Recent Changes

An increase of 5% minimum total cost for HBCU/ MI/ PTAC (APEX Accelerators) participation was implemented to assist them in reaching the diversity and inclusion rule set forth by the President. The total amount reimbursable per year has been decreased from $1.5M to $1M. The total agreement amount has decreased to $1M per year/ per agreement. Additional changes include the Monthly Expenditure Report, DCMA Mentor Questionnaire, and Protégé Questionnaire.



Mentors often assist Proteges in acquiring security clearances (FCL), among other things like proposal development, guidance on internal business management systems, marketing, accounting, and strategic planning. Mentors often provide assistance in navigating bid strategy, acquisition, and the federal procurement process. A DOD MPP will not affect your SBA limit, in case you decide to participate in both.