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Emerging Small Business (ESB)
Project-Specific ESB Mentor-Protege Program

The Office of Civil Rights manages a project-specific mentor-protégé program to assist ESB firms to expand their capacity to perform on larger and more challenging ODOT contracts.

To qualify:

  • The firm must be certified as an Emerging Small Business by The Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity (COBID) and possess a valid certification number.
  • Perform ODOT-related work such as highway or facility related construction, Architecture, Engineering, and related professional services.
  • Have an active contract/subcontract on an ODOT project, preferably with an end date scheduled to run at least one year after the firm’s date of acceptance into the program.

To participate:

  • Primes (typically superintendent) and sub-contractors (owner) on an active ODOT funded project commit to create and actively participate in the Mentor-Protégé team for the duration of the project contract.
  • The Mentor contacts the ODOT ESB Manager to set up an informational meeting with the prospective team.
  • Protégé completes written assessment provided by a facilitator through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network, and signs an enrollment & confidentiality statement with the SBDC facilitator.
  • All members of the team (Mentor, Protégé, SBDC Facilitator, and ODOT ESB Manager) meet monthly to develop and implement a strategic plan to assist the Protégé in targeted areas identified through the assessment.


 Mission Statement
 What is the ESB Program?
 Program Objectives
 Opportunities Available Now
 Project-Specific ESB Mentor-Protege
 ESB Program Certification
 ESB Forms