In order to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace, the SBA created the 8(a) Business Development Program.
What is the 8(a) Business Development Program?
The 8(a) Business Development Program is a business assistance program for small disadvantaged businesses. The 8(a) Program offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
The 8(a) Program is an essential instrument for helping socially and economically disadvantaged entrepreneurs gain access to the economic mainstream of American society. The program helps thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs to gain a foothold in government contracting.
Participation in the program is divided into two phases over nine years: a four-year developmental stage and a five-year transition stage.
Benefits of the Program
Participants can receive sole-source contracts, up to a ceiling of $4 million for goods and services and $6.5 million for manufacturing. While we help 8(a) firms build their competitive and institutional know-how, we also encourage you to participate in competitive acquisitions.
8(a) firms are also able to form joint ventures and teams to bid on contracts. This enhances the ability of 8(a) firms to perform larger prime contracts and overcome the effects of contract bundling, the combining of two or more contracts together into one large contract. Also, see theMentor-Protégé Program for more information on allowing starting 8(a) companies to learn the ropes from other more experienced businesses.