Hill International recently signed a Mentor Protégé agreement with Spire Consulting Group, LLC that could have a big impact on new growth opportunities for Hill in the Federal market.
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 gave the U.S. Small Business Administration authority to establish mentor-protégé programs for all small businesses. Rather than creating separate programs for each constituency, the SBA chose to create a single, all-inclusive mentor-protégé program modeled after the successful mentor-protégé program available in its 8(a) program, but with more incentive to participate.
“This is a win-win program,” said Mike Nosbisch, Vice President with Hill International. “It helps small businesses like Spire build better partnerships, and helps larger companies like Hill open previously closed doors to Federal opportunities,” he added.
Protégés receive a mentor’s support in a variety of areas such as general management, technical issues, assistance, business development and administration. Mentors gain access to local SBA resource partners, SBA district offices, small business development centers and procurement technical assistance centers, and become eligible to pursue small business contracts as a prime in conjunction with their protégé.
Potential protégés are encouraged to seek business management assistance from their local SBA District Office or from one of SBA’s many resource partners. If a small businesses is considering selling to the government or exploring international trade opportunities this program could be of great benefit. The SBA will help match them with a business such as Hill International that can help them take the next strategic step to growing their business.
As a mentor Hill is a perfect fit. More than 75% of Hill’s business in the US is in the public sector, with marquee clients such as the General Services Administration, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Transit Administration, and the Department of Energy to name a few. Additionally, Hill’s global presence in over 40 countries and 100 worldwide offices offers tremendous resources to a small business in international markets.
Hill’s roots are firmly planted in small business as Irv Richter, Hill’s Founder and Chairman Emeritus, has a strong passion for building a business from the ground-up. “The partnerships and relationships that I forged with larger businesses early on in Hill’s evolution helped us survive. When we set our sights on becoming global, strong international partnerships were critical to our growth in unchartered territory,” reflects Richter. “The mentor–protégé program focuses on helping small business find these relationships strategically and quickly. I wish this program was available in 1976,” Richter added.
The program is centered on developing strong protégé firms through mentor-provided business development assistance. The mentor can serve as a matchmaker to partners who will help a small business reach their strategic objectives. Mentors are sought to support protégés with management and technical assistance, contracting assistance, trade education, business development assistance and general administrative assistance.
“The appeal of this program is that it helps protégé firms develop relationships that might take them years or decades to establish. It also has the mentor firms excited about the program because there are real, bottom-line benefits to firms like Hill,” says Nosbisch. Going forward, this program will be a key element to Hill’s Federal strategy, and many other world renowned brands are following suit.
For more information on this program, visit the U.S. SBA Mentor-Protégé Program website at http://bit.ly/2o76zl3
by John Paolin