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SBA 8(a) program definition

What is the 8(a) Business Development Program? 
The Small Business Administration's 8(a) Program, named for a section of the Small Business Act, is a business development program created to help small disadvantaged businesses compete in the American economy and access the federal procurement market. Participants are given preferential treatment in Federal contracting.

The applicant firm:
- Must be a small business

- Must be unconditionally owned and controlled by one or more citizens of the United States who are socially and economically disadvantaged individuals of good character

- Must demonstrate potential for success.

Socially disadvantaged individuals are those who have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias because of their identity as members of a group. Social disadvantage must stem from circumstances beyond their control. See for a list of groups. 
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