An Insight into the 2014 GSA Mentor–Protégé HUBZone Fair
I represented several clients at the 2014 GSA Mentor – Protégé HUBZone Fair on February 24th and gained some valuable knowledge and insight during the experience that I believe can help HUBZone companies looking to expand in the GSA market. Before the meeting began, I was fortunate to have a word with Tony Eiland, the Program Coordinator for the Mentor-Protégé Program at GSA. I told him that I was representing several HUBZone companies, who are very unique and are looking to expand their presence in the GSA market. Tony was interested in HUBZones and mentioned that he would discuss a program that he believed could benefit them during his speech.
The program he was referring to was the GSA Mentor-Protégé Program, which is designed to encourage and motivate GSA prime contractors to help small businesses, and enhance their capability of performing well with their GSA contracts. The overall goal of this program is to increase the number of small businesses receiving GSA prime contract and subcontract awards, resulting from mentorship and refined business practices. This program also benefits the mentor, who from collaboration with small businesses can receive exposure to new business ideas and technology, but more importantly have a higher profile within the GSA community. A higher profile can lead to faster approval of modifications, acquisition of more GSA Schedules, and a leg up on other competition within the GSA. Tony expressed another goal which involved increasing the current 129 members in this program to 150 by the end of 2014. He also stated that out of these 129 members, only 11 are qualified for the Mentor-Protégé program under HUBZone. He also noted that he is strictly preserving 10 spots for specifically Mentor-Protégé HUBZone members.
This push for additional HUBZone involvement in the GSA is because the GSA failed to achieve its schedule-wide HUBZone sales of 3% last year. 2.5% of GSA sales this past year was through HUBZone, and as stated by Dan Tangherlini, the Administrator of the GSA. “3.5 Billion dollars is allocated to the agency, and it is the GSA’s job to do better sales.” He stressed that HUBZone business is important to him and that the GSA is working to increase HUBZone Sales. All this news is very good to hear as a representative of HUBZone businesses myself, and for any small business looking to prosper in the GSA marketplace.
For more information, you can read more about the HUBZone program.