Updated: Internationalization

The European Commission has released a new survey on internationalization of European small businesses which provides new insights into what types of international activities businesses are undertaking.

August 17, 2009 original post

Entrepreneurs have complex and not well understood ties to the global community. In Europe this issue has received more attention than here in the U.S., largely because the importance of cross-border interactions to growth, even within Europe. Indeed, this week I reviewed and provided comments on a survey and draft study from EIM for the European Commission on internationalization. I'll post on that when it is finalized and information public, but in the meantime, it got me looking for data which is available to look at international aspects of entrepreneurship. I can't say that I found a lot but I am grateful to Brian Headd of the Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, for several of these resources. Know of something else? Shoot me an email.

NFIB 2004 Survey on International Trade

Survey of Business Owners

The 2007 Survey of Business Owners by the Census Bureau has questions but data isn't available yet. Note that I think this data will be much more interesting now that this survey also added a question on immigrant status of the entrepreneur. Read the questionnaire. Information is available on the percent of firms that have exports (goods and services) as at least 10 percent of their sales.

Some information from the 2002 survey has been published. Read more detailed report.

International Trade Association, Department of Commerce

Here we have small business exporters. Read overview flier. Access the data.

Note: Exports only cover the exporting of goods.

Kauffman Firm Survey

Beginning in year four, we asked the following question. What percent of [NAME BUSINESS]’s total sales were to individuals, businesses, or governments outside of the United States? Get overview statistics from this question.

Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics

I've never seen this data used but in theory they include the following question in at least the first wave: Within the first two to three years of operation, what percent of your customers do you expect to be...) international – that is, they normally reside outside the US?

And lastly, in international commerce, Brad Jenson seems to be a leading U.S. figure. Brian referenced him and I've heard others in Census and government reference Brad although I have never talked with him. For actual studies and better insight on international trade, you can try Brad Jenson.

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