New City Program Empowers Small Businesses

City of Dallas Small Business Center Logo
City of Dallas Small Business Center Logo | Image by City of Dallas Small Business Center/Facebook

The City of Dallas Small Business Center kicked off its inaugural 2024 Mentor Protégé Program on Thursday, offering a collection of services and opportunities for various small business owners across the DFW area.

The City’s program hopes to boost the growth of minority and women-owned businesses (M/WBE) while enhancing the overall success of small businesses across Dallas, according to the City’s website.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, such “equity” initiatives have drawn scrutiny for potentially being unconstitutional, with some policy experts claiming race-conscious allocations of taxpayer resources may violate the law.

The program’s start date aligned with Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent proclamation declaring April 28 through May 4 to be 2024 Small Business Week in Texas, the same week the country also collectively celebrates the small business sector.

The Mentor Protégé Program is being advertised as a multifaceted program featuring individual mentoring and networking opportunities and various workshops and training sessions tailored to foster business growth and development. Under the program, seasoned businesses — referred to as mentors — provide guidance, resources, and expertise to protégés, enabling them to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.

The program will feature “Financially Stable Mentors,” which are defined as prime contractors with secured contracts within the City of Dallas or neighboring municipalities, holding one to three years minimum of operational experience.

It will also prioritize support for diverse “Emerging Protégé Businesses,” defined as M/WBE-certified small business owners who aspire to expand their financial revenue and secure contracting opportunities through comprehensive training and mentorships.

Joyce Williams, director of the Small Business Center, highlighted the program’s mission.

“The program aims to facilitate collaboration between seasoned businesses (mentors) and smaller enterprises (protégés), fostering their ability to excel as prime contractors or subcontractors in various contracting opportunities,” said Williams.

Williams encouraged all eligible businesses to seize this transformative opportunity, highlighting the program’s potential to fortify Dallas’s economic landscape by cultivating small business ventures.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Texas proudly hosts an impressive 3.2 million small businesses, which together provide jobs for almost half of the state’s employed population.

For further details on the Mentor Protégé Program and eligibility criteria, visit the program’s online portal.

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