8(a) Graduate of the Year


Eligibility Requirements:

  • History of successful performance on 8(a) contracts while in the 8(a) Business Development Program.
  • The firm must still be primarily owned, managed, and controlled by the person(s) whom 8(a) eligibility was based.
  • The firm must show reduced reliance on 8(a) contracts; the most recent fiscal year-end financial statement must reflect non 8(a) sales of 50% or more of total sales.
  • If nominee or nominee’s firm has an SBA loan, payment record must be satisfactory and the loan must be current and in good standing.
  • The firm must be in satisfactory financial condition (i.e. financial capability: sufficient capitalization, financial performance, bonding capacity, manageable debts). Applicants are ineligible if it is found that the firm, or any of its principals, has failed to pay Federal financial obligations.
  • The nominee must be a formerly certified 8(a) Business Development Program participant that graduated from the 8(a) Program for at least one year as of April 1, 2017.
  • The firm does not have to be a small business.


Selection Criteria:

  1. Management- Overall Qualifications/Expertise of Management, Customer Interface (Customer Engagement), Response to adversities, obstacles, etc. to achieve the present level of success
  2. Exceptional Results/Special Achievements- Deliverables in line with or exceeding contract requirements, Exceptional past performance record; and description of exceptional results and/or delivery performance that makes this company a valued product/service provider, Awards and Recognition
  3. Cost Performance- Financial Stability and Credit Worthiness, Value Engineering Change Proposals (Performance Adjustments), Increase in sales, net profit and net worth Growth in full-time employees
  4. Innovation- Specific description of innovation or unique/superior product or service, Explanation of how the product or service fills a niche or technical need not being adequately addressed by the competition
  5. Economic engagement of the disadvantaged community- Use of minority firms as suppliers, subcontractors, etc., Noted recruitment and employment of socially disadvantaged personnel, Participation in community projects and charitable affairs


Submission Documents:

  • SBA Form 3300, Award Nominee Background Form
  • SBA Form 3309, 8(a) Graduate of the Year Award
  • An original 8” x 10” or 5” x 7” photo of the nominee or a digital photo – at least 300 dpi is required; photocopies are not acceptable;
  • Any other supporting documentation deemed significant by the nominator, including news clips, letters of recommendation, nomination letter (if not self-nominated) and other evidence of the appropriateness of the nomination (supporting documentation must not exceed 10 pages). Videos will not be considered.