The RICAFE conference in Europe is one that I've only been able to enjoy the proceedings from, but enjoy I have. Today they released their proceedings from the most recent conference. I wanted to point out one paper in particular which seems to overview some entrepreneurship and innovation data that looks particularly novel. Of particular note, the Survey of Innovative Businesses in Latvia looks to have deviated from some of the core activities of the Community Innovation Survey in some important ways for understanding the relationship between entrepreneurship and innovation. In particular, they appear to emphacize understanding innovation in small firms. Additionally, their survey incorporates some aspects of financing activities. They also have the added benefit of matching their data to other federal data.
"This paper uses the Survey of Innovative Businesses in Latvia (SIBiL) to study the relationship between owner’s human capital and firm level innovations. SIBiL is a novel microlevel ataset covering a wide range of innovative activities of 1251 small Latvian firms in 2007-2008. The sampling design of SIBiL is very similar to Community Innovation Survey (CIS), the ain instrument for measuring firm-level innovations in the European Union. The questionnaire and the sampling method of SIBiL are nearly identical to those of the CIS. However, SIBiL has a umber of important advantages. First, SIBiL complements CIS by focusing on small firms with
less than 50 employees. In contrast, the CIS does not cover firms with less than 10 employees. Second, SIBiL is conducted using face-to-face interviews with owners and managers of the ompanies, which is a more reliable method compared with the mailed questionnaires used by CIS. All the interviews were conducted by Latvian Facts, a professional survey firm. Third, IBiL has a substantially larger questionnaire, covering the areas of access to and the use of external financing, business strategy, and background of the owners, such as their human capital nd prior professional experience. Fourth, SIBiL specifically focuses on sectors that EuroStat lassifies as high-technology manufacturing and knowledge intensive services. About 35% of the firms in the sample operate in these sectors. Fifth, our survey data are merged with the financial and ownership data from the Business Registry."
This research protocol sounds remarkably similar to several other surveys and coordinated survey/research effforts. In particular, the theory expressed here is very similar to that behind the Kauffman Firm Survey and the research itself is sounds very close to the research protocol being used by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's coordinated microdata study which will be presenting preliminary results at the Kauffman Foundation at a meeting in June.