U.S. Air Force Small Business


*The Air Force Mentor Protégé Program is not accepting new applicants at this time as we are currently revising our program and application process. We anticipate having new procedures in place very soon. A revised solicitation and application requirements will be posted once approved. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.*

The MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ Program assists eligible Small Disadvantaged Businesses (SDBs) (protégés) to successfully compete for prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with major defense contractors (mentors) under individual, project-based agreements to help meet the Air Force mission. Several Air Force MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ teams have received prestigious Nunn-Perry awards for superior performance.

Mentor companies:

  • Provide developmental assistance and technology transfer to their protégés
  • Are directly reimbursed for services provided to protégés


  • Establish relationships with major Air Force contractors
  • Develop necessary business and technical capabilities to perform significant work on Air Force and other Department of Defense (DoD) contracts
  • Expand and diversify their customer base

Eligibility Criteria

Mentors must be:

  • DoD prime contractors eligible for the award of federal contracts, with at least one active subcontracting plan

Protégés must be one of the following:

  • A small disadvantaged business (SDB)
  • A women-owned small business (WOSB)
  • A service-disabled veteran-owned small business (SDVOSB)
  • A qualified HUBZone small business (HUBZone)
  • A qualifying organization employing the severely disabled

Note: Mentors and protégés are solely responsible for finding their counterpart. The Air Force Office of Small Business Programs does not participate in the teaming of mentors and protégés. Interested firms are encouraged to explore existing business relationships in an effort to establish a MENTOR-PROTÉGÉ relationship.


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Contact Information

Mr. Robert 'Bob' Lyons, Director
Air Force Mentor Protégé Program

Mr. Robert Chapell
Mentor Protégé Program
Management Support Contractor