About Us

ABOUT US

The Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection (GMPC) is a small business development program of the Georgia Education Foundation (GEF), the educational arm of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC), supported by the State of Georgia’s Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute.

GMPC provides opportunities for Georgia small businesses to partner with a corporate mentor for a period of one year. Emerging firms build relationships, explore new technologies, learn about best practices, and benefit from the wisdom of corporate executives who are committed to the long-term health and overall growth of small businesses in Georgia. Mentor pairs focus on three mutually agreed upon goal areas, in an effort to increase corporate readiness and cultivate long-term sustainability.

The mentor corporations are headquartered in Georgia or have a significant presence in the state. These firms are leaders in their respective industries and are committed to small business development and inclusive procurement practices. They represent the full spectrum of industry categories, including transportation, education, logistics, manufacturing, telecommunications, consulting services and information technology.

15+ YEARS
MENTORING

400+ SMALL
BUSINESSES MENTORED

1000’S OF JOBS
CREATED IN GEORGIA

1 BILLION IN
SALES REVENUE

OUR HISTORY

The Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection originated in 2001 as the first state-sponsored mentoring program in the nation. Spearheaded by Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, the program was first known as the Governor’s Mentor Protégé Program. Governor Barnes relied on a broad consortium of business leaders, corporate executives, business owners, supplier diversity professionals and small business development experts to create a first-of-its-kind initiative that set the standard for such programs across the country. For its first decade, the program was administered by the state of Georgia’s Department of Economic Development.

Leadership of the program was transitioned from the state of Georgia to the GMSDC, under the auspices of its Georgia Education Foundation, in 2012. The GMSDC implemented a new course forward for the program, whose name was changed at that time to the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection, with the establishment of a dedicated staff team and a number of key enhancements to the curriculum and program content. The GMPC still maintains a strategic partner relationship with the state’s Economic Development department and the Enterprise Innovation Institute at Georgia Tech, who support the program in key areas.

The GMPC has facilitated some 400 mentor-protégé pairings over the years, resulting in the creation of thousands of jobs in Georgia and billions of dollars in revenues. Alumni firms are among the most highly regarded in their industries, having won major contracts and countless awards for excellence and achievement in business. Annually, the program continues to produce world-class alumni who are making a difference in Georgia’s economy. As the GMPC looks forward to its 20th year, the program remains one of the nation’s leading small business development initiatives.

MEET OUR 2019 BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Michael Robinson
IBM
Georgia Education Foundation Board Chair

Sidd Ahmed
VDart

Stacey Key
Georgia Education Foundation President

 

 

 

 

Douglas Burrell
Drew Eckel Farnham

Wassel Lewis
Aflac

 

 

Ken Huff
Southern Company (Retired)

Glenda Stinson
Georgia Power

THE TEAM

Reginald Phams
Interim Director
Georgia Mentor Protégé
Connection

SUPPORT US

The Georgia Education Foundation is a non-profit business education and advocacy organization that relies on the generosity of constituents and stakeholders to fulfill its mission. Your donations are fully tax-deductible and will help to build legacies and strengthen communities all over Georgia. Click here to make a donation…

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