8(a) Business Development Program

To foster business ownership by individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged; and to promote the competitive viability of such firms by providing business development and mentoring assistance including, but not limited to, management and technical assistance, access to capital and

credit: Wikipedia
other forms of financial assistance, business training and counseling, and access to sole source and limited competition Federal contract opportunities, to help the firms to achieve competitive viability.

This video explains how the SBA's 8(a) Program works, its eligibility requirements, technical assistance available to small disadvantaged businesses through the program and common myths about the program.

Agency - Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration maintains and strengthens the nation's economy by aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses and by helping families and businesses recover from national disasters.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

Initial contact should be made with the field offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Small Business Administration.
Website Address


Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: 911 applicants approved into the 8(a) BD Program. Fiscal Year 2017: FY 2017: 430 applications approved year to date. Fiscal Year 2018: N/A.

Uses and Use Restrictions

This program utilizes authority provided to SBA under Section 7(j) and 8(a) of the Small Business Act to enter into procurement contracts with other Federal agencies and to subcontract the performance of these contracts to eligible program participants, to provide access to capital and other forms of financial assistance, and to provide business training and counseling.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Firms applying for 8(a) program participation must meet certain requirements which include, but are not limited to: (a) Status as a small business; (b) at least 51 percent unconditional ownership, control and management of the business by an American citizen(s) determined by SBA to be socially and economically disadvantaged, or by an economically disadvantaged Indian Tribe, Alaska Native Corporation, or Native Hawaiian Organization; and (c) demonstrated potential for success; and (d) possess good character.

Absent evidence to the contrary, the following individuals are presumed to be socially disadvantaged: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Asian Pacific Americans and Subcontinent Asian Americans.

Individuals who are not members of the named groups may establish their social disadvantage on the basis of a preponderance of evidence of personal disadvantage stemming from color, national origin, gender, physical handicap, long- term residence in an environment isolated from the American society, or other similar cause beyond the individual's control.

Economic disadvantage must be demonstrated on a case-by-case basis.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and small businesses owned and operated by such individuals; economically disadvantaged Indian tribes including Alaskan Native Corporations and economically disadvantaged Native Hawaiian organizations.


Documentation to establish that all program eligibility criteria are met. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is required.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Electronic applications are made to SBA offices through SBA's webpage at www.sba.gov. Detailed instructions, and if necessary, assistance in completing application is available at SBA District offices and on SBA's home page at http://www.sba.gov and https://eweb.sba.gov/gls/dsp_addcustomer.cfm

Award Procedures

Applicant is notified of program participation approval or decline by a letter from the SBA headquarters office. Broad range of business development assistance, including procurement, and access to capital and other forms of financial assistance and business training and counseling is provided to approved program participants.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Small Business Act, Section 8(a) (15 U.S.C. 637(a)), Public Law 100-656.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 80 days.


Within 45 days of the date of decline letter, applicant has right to request that the decision be reconsidered. For applications declined solely on the basis of negative finding with regard to social disadvantage, economic disadvantage, ownership or control of business by socially or economically disadvantaged individuals, the applicant within 45 days of the date of the decline letter or reaffirmation of decline, has a right to appeal the decision to the SBA's Office of Hearing and Appeals. In addition, applicant firms may reapply 12 months after SBA decline.


Additional information available on SBA's website at sba.gov.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. This program has no matching requirements. This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Maximum of 9 years. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Additional information available on SBA's website at www.sba.gov.

Post Assistance Requirements


Additional information available on SBA's website at www.sba.gov.

See www.sba.gov.

Check on www.sba.gov.

Please see www.sba.gov.

Additional information available on SBA's website at www.sba.gov.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. Program participation audits as needed to evaluate progress. Contract audits as and when required by Federal Acquisition Regulations.


Standard business/accounting records.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Provision of Specialized Services) FY 16 Not Available; FY 17 Estimate Not Available; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Additional information available on SBA's website at www.sba.gov.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

SBA Rules and Regulations, 13 CFR Section 124, SOP 80-05-02.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. Initial contact should be made with the field offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under Small Business Administration.

Headquarters Office

Ajoy Sinha 409 3rd. Street, S.W., 8th Floor, Washington, District of Columbia 20416 Email: Ajoy.Sinha@sba.gov Phone: 202-205-1904

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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