The origin of mentor-protégé relationships can be traced back to ancient Greece. Mentoring is building a relationship, trust, and more importantly, a commitment. A mentor-protégé relationship shares important social, spiritual and personal values. It is precisely this type of support that builds a strong foundation to build and sustain a healthy business. The kind of business entity that can adapt and can react quickly to change and can develop, adjust, and regenerate itself over time.
Whether the relationship is formal or informal, the goal of mentoring is to provide advice as well as both professional and personal enrichment. A mentoring relationship is defined as one that helps and supports people to “manage their own learning in order to maximize their business performance, professional potential, develop their skills, improve their performance, and become the person they dream to be.”
DoD’s Mentor-Protégé Program is the oldest continuously operating federal mentor-protégé program in existence. Under the program, small businesses are partnered with larger companies to help eligible small businesses expand their footprint in the defense industrial base.
The City and County of Denver Office of Economic Development’s Mentor/Protégé program matches successful, seasoned businesses with smaller M/WBEs to provide coaching on ways to compete more successfully for contracts in construction and related professional services.
The CDOT ESB Mentor-Protégé Program provides opportunities for ESBs to hone their business skills by working closely with established firms in highway construction or professional services. The program helps CDOT, Contractors, Consultants, and Colorado’s transportation industry be more effective and diverse.