6/27/2011 7:09:04 AM By
Updated Post - June 27, 2011
Babson College has published results from a new alumni survey on entrepreneurship and given Babson's ability to reach the presses, I am sure this will bring some renewed interest to alumni surveys on entrepreneurship. While I am hesitant to even mention the research as I can't locate the actual paper which this is based on, and hence also can't locate the survey they used, this is in the press. The authors come down strongly behind the value on entrepreneurship education, not something that most other alumni surveys of entrepreneurs have been able to address because of lack of matched course data and the relatively recent explosion of entrepreneurship classes. They find more impact in this regard on a student having taken actual courses than just having completed a business plan.
Alumni surveys remain a strong vehicle for research right now, partially because of recent successes at some key locations with the design, but I have to also believe in an era of austere budgets this is one collection mechanism that a lot of schools could find donors or internal support to collect. I know we currently have a small amount invested in an effort at Stanford to collect similar information so should be more coming out on this topic in the next year.
Original Post - March 4, 2009
A week or so ago, we released a report based on an alumni survey of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates which looked at the their incidence of entrepreneurship. It had some interesting findings, including:
- An estimated 6,900 MIT alumni companies with worldwide sales of approximately $164 billion are located in Massachusetts alone and represent 26 percent of the sales of all Massachusetts companies.
- 4,100 MIT alumni-founded firms are based in California, and generate an estimated $134 billion in worldwide sales.
- States currently benefiting most from jobs created by MIT alumni companies are Massachusetts (estimated at just under one million jobs worldwide); California (estimated at 526,000 jobs), New York (estimated at 231,000 jobs), Texas (estimated at 184,000) and Virginia (estimated at 136,000).
While MIT is without a doubt an anomalous university in the U.S. and globally, the power of this survey was to quantify for the first time a portion of the entrepreneurial impact MIT has had over the last several decades. I say a portion because this survey only looked at companies started by MIT alumni, not all the other effects in terms of inventions, human capital creation, etc. While I haven't talked to the MIT authors about why they started this survey, I suspect it had something to do with wanting to know how entrepreneurship from MIT was contributing to local, national, and international economies. As universities have become more of a focus for economic growth, being able to quantify these effects would naturally become more of a focus.
This morning I ran across a similar new alumni survey out of Iowa State University that also looks at incidence of entrepreneurship among other topics such as those who created a non-profit or report having filed for a patent. They find that Iowa State alumni have created businesses that employ about 35,000 in Iowa and more than 220,000 in the United States. This is interesting to have along with the MIT report because Iowa State is an example of a public university that also has a significant historical focus on entrepreneurship through the Pappa john Center for Entrepreneurship. Their methodologies don't appear identical, but should prove interesting to compare in this seemingly emerging area of study.
Are there other alumni surveys that I have missed that cover entrepreneurship? Please send them my way. In the meantime, the MIT survey instrument is available online for those wanting to take a closer look. If you are considering undertaking a similar study at a specific university, let us know so perhaps there can be more comparability among disparate efforts.
3/31/2009 11:45:00 AM By
As a follow-up to my data post on family-owned firms, a call for papers on the topic.
Call For Papers: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Venturing (IJEV)
Special Issue on: "The Family-Driven Entrepreneurial Venture: Is There a Link Between the Family Background and the Entrepreneurial Behaviour of a Family Business?"
Matti Koiranen, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
Stefan Märk, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Ilse Matser, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Deadline: August 30, 2009
This special issue seeks manuscripts that tackle the question: “What is the current state of the art in entrepreneurship and family business research”? Since Landsberg (1982) revealed that there are more benefits for a company than having just one entrepreneur, an increasing number of researchers have tried to integrate the “family” concept into their work.
3/31/2009 11:02:00 AM By
Family-ownership of firms isn't something that we deal with a lot at Kauffman, but it's something that the larger field considers a part of entrepreneurship. As such, when I got an email inquiry today through our website on the subject and data available on family-owned firms, I decided to take a look. I didn't go far because for this type of thing, in the United States, there is really only one great source, the Survey of Business Owners. It's done every five years in conjunction with the Economic Census. The most recent released data is from 2002. And what I found really fascinated me:
Respondent firms 16,687,541 total - 4,091,884 employer firms; 12,595,657 non-employer firms
- Family-owned, yes: 23.4 percent overall – 28.1 percent for employer firms; 21.9 percent for non-employers
- Family-owned, no: 9.4 percent overall– 18.3 percent for employer firms; 6.5 percent for non-employers
- Family-owned, only one owner: 63.6 percent overall - 51.0 percent for employer firms; 67.7 percent for non-employers
- Family-owned, item not reported: 4.2 percent overall - 4.1 percent for employer firms; 4.2 percent for non-employers
Source: Table 4. http://www.census.gov/prod/ec02/sb0200cscb.pdf
I'm still getting used to tables, etc. on the blog so apologies for the clunkiness here, but the basic message I wanted to show was that it's really interesting that a majority of firms in the United States are single-owner firms and yet these firms predominantly respond that they are "family-owned". By my reading of the above, 87 percent of firms responded that they were family-owned. Even close to 80 percent of employer firms reported being family-owned.
3/31/2009 5:51:00 AM By
The FIRB-RISC CONFERENCE, organized by CESPRI (Centre of Research on Innovation and Internationalization) is seeking papers on an upcoming conference with theme “Research and entrepreneurship in the knowledge-based economy”.
September 7-8, 2009
KITeS-Cespri, Bocconi University
I wanted to highlight that organizers are specifcally seeking papers that look at things like investments in intangible assets or innovation while looking at entrepreneurship.
3/30/2009 8:29:00 AM By
Last week, I received an email from the the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. In the email, the group talks of "taking a proactive approach to encouraging government entities to understand the value of offering incentives for early stage investment." As such, they are doing two surveys on surveymonkey "to provide government officials and the media with information to support the need for increased early stage capital." One survey was focused on the investor and one the professional support organization. Given the audience of for this blog, I thought I'd pass along the professional support survey link, in case it applicable to readers. This survey is obviously not meant to be very scientific, but if nothing else, readers can benefit from seeing the questions which are being asked.
Professional Support Survey - This survey is for professional service providers, university/federal technology transfer groups and economic development professionals.
Everyone benefits through strong participation and we will share the results with those who participated. Any questions, please e-mail Marc Kramer at email@example.com.
3/27/2009 3:32:00 AM By
It's not a top-tier publication, to my knowledge, but the special issue on "Ethnicity, Cultural Diversity and Entrepreneurship"
from the Global Business and Economics Review
might be of interest to scholars looking at differential entrepreneurship experiences by demographic. We continue to find big differences across different demographic groups in the United States in their entrepreneurial experiences such as recent articles touching on immigration
or the litany of research looking at different minority populations from venture capital
to broader research
on minority entrepreneurship.
3/26/2009 6:35:00 AM By
The National Science Foundation has announced a call for proposals looking at the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The call recognizes the natural experimental situation for studying the science of science and innovation policy activities as a result of this large shock. Read the actual call
or find out more about the NSF application process
3/26/2009 2:47:00 AM By
There has been a fairly strong debate among many funding agencies and top-tier academic institutions about scholarly publications and access issues over the last few years. Last fall, I heard an interesting interview on National Public Radio's Science Friday podcast concerning the National Institute of Health's efforts to make research they funded open-access. From my dealings with with the Social Science Research Network to promote dissemination of academic publications on entrepreneurship (see Entrepreneurship Research and Policy Network), I suspected that efforts to push open-access publication are likely to be dealt with at the disciplinary level and that the mores of the each discipline in adopting norms are extremely different.
Yesterday, I saw a new announcement from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) which has caused me to wonder if open-access is reaching a tipping point that could sweep across academia. MIT's release of a campus-wide, open-access publication model for its faculty's research has the potential to cascade across the U.S. and the globe. MIT, with its diversity of strengths in academic research, would seem an ideal place to begin such a domino effect. You can read their actual policy or a good overview article on the whole process at ars technica.
One thing I didn't see specified in the MIT policy that I will be interested to find clarification on is how MIT plans to treat the underlying research data which scholarly publications are based upon. This has been a murky area in Economics, but less so in other disciplines, and how the university treats the research data could have other significant implications. MIT's libraries have a page devoted to open data, which do give an overview of some of the big players in this area but I diddn't see reference to open data in their policy.
3/25/2009 6:12:00 AM By
The Association of Public Data Users (APDU) is hosting an online presentation on “The 2010 Census: Preparations for a Complete Count” on Tuesday April 14th, 2009, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT. Daniel Weinberg, Assistant Director for American Community Survey and Decennial Census, U.S. Census Bureau, will be presenting. Registration is necessary. Contact Denise M. Bosmans.
While the decennial census doesn't have a lot of direct application to entrepreneurship or innovation, it relates to so many things in the statistical infrastructure it is important to be aware of.
3/25/2009 5:42:00 AM By
Developing better data is part of Kauffman's long-term strategy for advancing better research and policy on entrepreneurship and innovation. Data Maven is place you can connect with new data developments, provide us feedback on possible new projects, and contribute to the community seeking to improve entrepreneurship and innovation measurement.
E.J. Reedy is a manager in Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation. Learn more ...