DISA Paving the way for Mentor-Protégé Program

A mentor-protege program is in the works at the Defense Information Systems Agency. Director of Small Business Programs Sharon Jones hopes it will be ready for businesses to participate by fiscal year 2015.

At the recent Forecast to Industry event, Jones encouraged small businesses to partner with large businesses. She recommends joint ventures and teaming as an avenue for smaller companies who are interested in working with DISA. She also called upon large businesses to make a good faith effort to meet their subcontracting goals.

With an increasing number of contracts being set aside for small businesses, DISA is meeting and exceeding its Small Business goals. They hold a number of outreach events including the Monthly Small Business Orientation Forum to educate small businesses on topics like the National Defense Authorization Bill of 2013. They also hold the Leadership in Action Speaker Series quarterly.

"Doing your homework" is how you land contracts. Jones says attending the events goes a long way, but companies should do their own research. It's vital that businesses know what capabilities DISA is looking for and all the requirements that go along with it.

It's important that businesses don't make promises they can't keep. Jones says, "you do not have to have a footprint at DISA to work here… but you have to deliver."