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Small Business Programs Overview



Small Business Programs support the Industrial Policy (IndPol) mission by maximizing industrial base opportunities that ensure our nation’s small businesses remain responsive, resilient, secure and diversified to directly support the National Defense Strategy, the broader Defense Industrial Base (DIB), and a robust economy by contributing innovation, cost effectiveness and agility to respond to current and future Warfighter requirements. 

National Defense Strategy lines of effort directly supported:

  • Rebuilding military readiness as we build a more lethal Joint Force
  • Reforming the Department’s business practices for greater performance affordability by:
    • Engaging and building the vitally important, innovative, and resilient small business industrial base to diversify manufacturing within the United States and broadening competition in all business sectors supporting the Department of Defense (DoD)
    • Building a stronger, more diverse, and highly competitive industrial base populated with efficient, effective, and competitive small businesses
The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford travels in the Atlantic Ocean at night, Dec. 13, 2017. The Gerald R. Ford is underway conducting test and evaluation operations.


Small Business Programs support the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)) and the Secretary of Defense on all issues related to:

  • Small business programs, policy, and regulation 
  • Monitoring the strength and welfare of the small business sector of the U.S. DIB
  • Conducting outreach to the small business community to: 
    • Distribute DoD requirements
    • Provide guidance on doing business with the Department
    • Seek innovative solutions to DoD challenges
  • Utilizing small businesses to fulfill DoD requirements and help close gaps in the DIB
  • Developing and evolving small business analytics to support planning and scoring
  • DoD responsiveness to the congressional small business committees 
  • Budget, appropriations, and authorization matters relating to small business acquisition


Small Business Programs support DoD requirements mandated by:


(15 USC Sections 631-657)

Establishes mandatory small business contracting goals and small business programs applicable to all Federal agencies, including the DoD.


(DoD Small Business Programs)

Establishes DoD small business programs under the authority of the Director of SBP. DoD small business programs include: small business, veteran-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, historically underutilized business zone small business, small disadvantaged business, Women-owned small business, DoD Mentor-Protégé Program, Indian Incentive Program and all other small business programs in the DoD as defined by The Small Business Act (15 USC Sections 631-657).


(10 USC Section 2302)

The DoD Mentor-Protégé Program (MPP) provides incentives for DoD contractors to assist protégé firms in enhancing their capabilities and increases participation of such firms in Government and commercial contracts.


(Director of Small Business Programs)

Establishes the Director of Small Business Programs as the principal advisor to the USD(A&S) and the Secretary of Defense on small business matters and providing small businesses the maximum practicable opportunity to compete for contracts in accordance with the Small Business Act.


(Public Law 101-189)

Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan (CSP) Program: The CSP Program allows negotiation and administration of an overall (comprehensive) subcontracting plan for large contractors who choose to participate. The CSP applies to every contract, precluding the need to spend time and resources to individually negotiate subcontracting plans for each contract. This reduces administrative burdens and costs on contractors.


(25 USC Section 1544)

Establishes the Indian Incentive Program (IIP) to motivate prime contractors to subcontract to Indian organizations and Indian-owned economic enterprises by providing a 5% rebate back to the prime contractor for doing so.