One of the Kauffman Foundation’s major strategies in support of entrepreneurship, is to have expanded data available to both national and local policymakers. For close to 40 years, the U.S. Census has run a large-scale survey of private business through the Survey of Business Owners (SBO), providing the most detailed picture of the changing American entrepreneur every five years. Through a major public-private partnership, the Kauffman Foundation and Census Bureau will be modernizing and annualizing the SBO for years 2014, 2015, and 2016.
The new annual Survey of Business Owners will:
• Create useful knowledge that will help foster more (and more successful) entrepreneurs.
• Create timely data on a wide-variety of industries and entrepreneurs in the United States, surveying 200,000 U.S businesses annually.
• Expand the data collected to include more detail on barriers to growth, financing, innovation, firm dynamics, demographics, and background characteristics on American entrepreneurs.
• Accelerate the public release of statistics from this program.
In 2004, Kauffman Foundation initiated the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) to study new business development; but, by 2008 and 2009 we realized the KFS was looked to for much more than that. Kauffman was the only organization (public or private) collecting high-quality, ongoing information on a panel of private businesses during this time. Which meant, we were the only real-time source of information on the effect of the most recent recession on many topics related to both new businesses and small businesses. This highlighted a major gap in public knowledge – one Kauffman could not fill alone.
With the Census Bureau partnership, the Kauffman Foundation is looking to scale what was learned with the KFS, expand research even further, and provide new tabulations and localized information annually for all states and top metropolitan areas throughout the country. To keep pace with ever-evolving trends in entrepreneurship, data collection must also undergo improvement and innovation.
It is our hope at Kauffman that with access to good information, policymakers and others will be able to make more informed decisions regarding the entrepreneurial environment.
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As a director in Research and Policy, E.J. Reedy oversees the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s research initiatives related to education, human capital development, and data.
Since joining the Kauffman Foundation in 2003, Reedy has been significantly involved in the coordination of the Foundation’s entrepreneurship and innovation data-related initiatives, including the Kauffman Firm Survey, for which he served as a principal investigator, and the Foundation’s multi-year series of symposiums on data, as well as many web-related projects and initiatives. He is a globally recognized expert in entrepreneurship and innovation measurement and has consulted for a variety of agencies.
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Changes are currently being made to the questionnaire for the 2014 Survey of Business Owners.
Get a sense of past collections from the 2012 instrument, browse earlier forms, see a draft of some of the expanded questions currently being considered for 2014.
Questionnaire review for the 2015 collection will occur in spring/summer 2015.
The Kauffman/Census expanded SBO will not become available publicly until spring/summer 2016 (covering 2014 business activities), but statistics from the 2012 SBO become available during summer/fall 2015.
Data from 2007 is already available.
In summer 2016, the 2014 SBO is expected to become available for research use in both the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers and a public-use data file.
For now, 2007 SBO public-use data file is available for research use and 2012 will be available in early 2016.
If you are planning to apply to use the confidential data in the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers, put in your applications soon!
The process of application can take a long time. Contact me to clarify questions about the data for your application.