WASHINGTON–The U.S. Small Business Administration will host the fourth of its free Mentor-Protégé Matchmaking Conference series in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 21. The program gives small disadvantaged businesses access to guidance on federal contracting, face-to-face meetings and opportunities to team with larger businesses and graduates of the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development program.
During the forums, small businesses will learn how to market themselves to the federal government and go after government contracting opportunities. They will also get an overview of the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program – a tool of the SBA’s 8(a) program that encourages mentors to team with a protégé or smaller firm to help them with management and technical assistance, financial assistance and access to joint ventures and federal contracting opportunities.
“Although we are encouraged by the economic indicators trending upward, we are still facing challenging economic times,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “That’s why it’s important that we make sure that more federal contracts get into the hands of small businesses that drive the nation’s economy and create jobs. These forums will go a long way in making sure that small businesses know how to leverage their companies and team with viable partners to take their businesses to the next level.”
The forums will also feature a discussion of strategic alliance and joint venture opportunities, a Q&A session and face-to-face and virtual business matchmaking sessions with larger businesses and companies that have graduated from the 8(a) program.
Small disadvantaged businesses and 8(a) firms interested in attending must register at: http://sba.mybusinessmatches.com/buyers/generalinfo. Approximately 300 small businesses will be matched prior to their meetings based on their compatibility.
The first three matchmaking conferences took place in Washington, D.C., in January and Atlanta, Ga., and Orlando, Fla., in February. The list of the remaining cities scheduled is as follows:
• Los Angeles, Calif. (March 21)
• Houston, Texas (March 27)
• San Antonio, Texas (March 29)
• Chicago, Ill. (April 5)
• Denver, Colo. (April 11)
• Boston, Mass. (May 10)
• Newark, N.J. (May 23)
• Seattle, Wash. (June 7)
• Kansas City, Mo. (June 21)
• Sacramento, Calif. (July 24)
• Cleveland, Ohio (August 7)
For more information about the SBA’s Mentor-Protégé program, visit: www.sba.gov/content/mentor-protégé-program and to learn more about the Mentor-Protégé Matchmaking Conference, visit: http://sba.mybusinessmatches.com/buyers/generalinfo.
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