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Wyoming Business Tips for Feb. 4-10

January 31, 2019

A weekly look at issues facing Wyoming business owners and entrepreneurs from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Andi Lewis, procurement specialist, Wyoming SBDC Network

An excellent growth tactic for small businesses is to pair with a larger business to go after work and to learn the ropes of government contracting. One way to do this is to use the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) All Small Mentor-Protégé Program. In this program, a small business and a large business come together to help the small business grow. Some of the business development areas that might be used to assist the small business include:

-- Guidance on internal business management systems, accounting, marketing, manufacturing and strategic planning.

-- Financial assistance in the form of equity investments, loans and bonding.

-- Assistance navigating federal contract bidding, acquisition and performance process.

-- Education about international trade, strategic planning and finding markets.

-- Business development, including strategy and identifying contracting and partnership opportunities.

-- General and administrative assistance.

To qualify as a protégé, your business must be small by SBA standards; have industry experience; be organized as a for-profit or as an agricultural cooperative; and have a proposed mentor prior to applying for the program. The small business can have no more than two mentors in its lifetime.

A mentor must be organized as a for-profit or as an agricultural cooperative. Mentors can have no more than three protégés at a time.

These agreements are good for three years, with one extension allowable for another three years. There is an annual evaluation report requirement due to the SBA.

The small business and the large business that develop a mentor-protégé agreement can form a joint venture. Joint ventures formed this way would qualify for set-aside contracts that the small business is eligible for, such as service-disabled veteran-owned, woman-owned and HUBZone contracts.

For no-cost assistance with the All Small Mentor-Protégé Program, email Lewis at or call (307) 772-7372.

To learn more about joint ventures and teaming arrangements, a free webinar will be offered Feb. 6. To register, visit the events section at These topics and more will be discussed at the 2019 GRO-Biz Conference & Idea Expo Feb. 20-21 in Casper. To reserve a spot, visit

The Wyoming SBDC Network offers business expertise to help Wyoming residents think about, launch, grow, reinvent or exit their business. The Wyoming SBDC Network is hosted by UW with state funds from the Wyoming Business Council and funded, in part, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.

To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write to 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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