Yes. Maryland’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) does have a mentor-protégé program designed to move businesses certified as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) into non-traditional work areas and strengthen their ability to compete by receiving assistance from mentor firms. A mentor-protégé relationship established under the program must be based on a written development plan approved in advance by MDOT. The written development plan shall establish objectives and roles of each party in the mentor-protégé relationship, the length of time for the plan, and the services and resources to be provided by the mentor firm to the protégé firm. Additionally, the protégé firm must be and remain an independent business during the plan period.
Certification of a business as an MBE or DBE can be a viable tool for developing and maintaining business relationships. A business desiring certification as an MBE or DBE may want to consider obtaining legal advice concerning eligibility requirements for certification prior to applying for certification.