After years of diligent pursuit and preparation...
BESL has been named as a Protégé in the DoD’s Mentor/Protégé Program under the auspices of the United States Air Force Office of Small Business. Partnering in this preeminent award by the U.S. Air Force are the Harris Corporation (Mentor), BESL (Protégé) and Alabama A&M University, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU).
Jeff Barnett, BESL’s CEO relates the significance of this award. “This Mentor/Protégé Award is the biggest thing that has happened to our company since the award of our very first subcontract almost 10 years ago - to the day. The successful partnering and formation of the Mentor/Protégé relationship between BESL, the Harris Corporation, and Alabama A&M University provides a tremendous transition opportunity for BESL to become a major Prime Contractor in the Small Business Community. We are honored and very excited to be named by the Harris Corporation as their Protégé and our deepest gratitude to both the DoD Office of Small Business as well as the United States Air Force Office of Small Business.”
The Air Force Mentor-Protégé Program, assists small businesses (Protégés) to successfully compete for Prime contract and subcontract awards by partnering with large companies (Mentors) under individual, project-based agreements. The Mentor-Protégé program encourages large contractors, such as the Harris Corporation, to share their technical expertise and knowledge of government contracting with innovative small businesses. Alabama A&M University, an Historically Black College and University (HBCU), also named as part of the Harris/BESL mentor-protégé team will provide additional training and support throughout the Mentor/Protégé relationship via the University’s Research, Innovation, Science and Engineering (RISE) Foundation.
The U.S. Air Force Mentor/Protégé program's major goal is to positively impact the growth of the defense industry base through partnerships between small, innovative technical companies and major defense industry contractors. Traditionally, protégé firms have used their involvement in the program to develop much needed business and technical capabilities to diversify their customer base.
Benefits of participation in the program for the Protégé include:
- Technology transfer
- Engineering and technical training
- Business infrastructure enhancement
- Development of long term business relationship with a Prime Contractor
- Expansion of subcontracting opportunities
- Business development and planning training
- Leverage technical expertise of the Mentor to bid on Small Business (SB) set-aside contracts
- Improve competitive advantage