skip to main content

US DoD official outlines changes to aid small business

An aerial view of the US Pentagon. (Getty Images)

Several recent or pending changes at the US Department of Defense (DoD) are intended to make it easier for small businesses to work with the large, complex organisation, according to a key DoD official.

Farooq Mitha, director of the DoD's Office of Small Business Programs (OSBP), during a National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) webinar on 21 February said that the department intends to revive funding for the Rapid Innovation Fund (RIF), which is supposed to help small businesses bridge the “valley of death”, or the gap between development and full-scale production. The RIF has not received funding since 2019, Mitha told the webinar audience.

The Mentor-Protégé Program, which is designed to help small businesses expand their involvement in the DoD supply chain, has lowered the threshold for mentor eligibility from USD100 million in annual defence contracts to USD25 million to expand participation.

“We want, I want more small companies to be mentors,” Mitha said. “In certain sectors, in certain industries, smaller companies can actually be better mentors to other small companies than large companies.”

In 2023, the OSBP plans to turn its website,, into a “one-stop shop for all small businesses” and roll-out improvements to its Apex Accelerators, formerly Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (PTACs), which provide education and training across the US, Mitha said.

Mitha is also working to begin setting up sensitive compartmented information facility (SCIF) spaces for small businesses in certain parts of the US, including the Washington, DC, area. Meanwhile, a new “small business integration group” seeks to increase co-ordination among DoD entities that support such companies.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...