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Port of Portland Accepting Protégé Applications

Port of Portland LogoThe Port of Portland is again hosting its annual Mentor Protégé Program. Those businesses accepted to the program are paired with two mentors to help develop marketing strategies, understand financial statements, and identify/implement other action items needed to be successful.

What is the Mentor Protégé Program?


To contribute to small business development in our region.


The Port of Portland’s Mentor Protégé Program exists to build effective working relationships between leaders of mature, established companies and emerging minority- and women-owned companies in order for the latter to benefit from the knowledge and experience of the established firms.

Program Origins

In 1994, the Port of Portland undertook an assessment to determine why small minority- and women-owned businesses were not participating in Port projects. The following five barriers were identified:

  • Ineffective working relationships between small minority- and women-owned businesses and prime contractors.
  • Poor access to job notification.
  • Inability to accommodate size of work.
  • Inability to secure adequate financing.
  • Inability to secure adequate bonding.

One solution that evolved was the Mentor Protégé Program. An advisory board was formed, mentors were recruited and, in 1995, the program´s first group of protégés was selected. The Port of Portland Mentor Protégé Program has since become a national model for several agencies, organizations and national efforts, including the Small Business Administration, Associated General Contractors, and Vice President Gore´s Business Mentoring initiative.

Application Process

Selection for the Port of Portland Mentor Protégé Program is conducted through an application process. To apply for participation, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Participants must be current on all taxes and applicable licenses.
  • Current business must have been in continuous operation for the last 24 months.
  • Participants must be certified by the Oregon Office of Minority, Women & Emerging Small Businesses.
  • Participants must be committed to following program rules, guidelines and processes so that incremental growth and business success can be achieved.

Deadline for Application

The application deadline is April 30, 2014

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