Skip to content

An Overview of the Kauffman Firm Survey: Results from 2009 Activities

Although entrepreneurial activity is an important part of a capitalist economy, data about U.S. businesses in their early years of operation have been extremely limited. As part of an effort to gather more information on new businesses in the United States, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation created the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), a panel study of new businesses founded in 2004 and tracked over their early years of operation. The KFS dataset provides researchers with a unique opportunity to study a panel of new businesses from startup to sustainability, with longitudinal data centering on topics such as how businesses are financed; the products, services, and innovations these businesses possess and develop in their early years of existence; and the characteristics of those who own and operate them.1

This report highlights basic trends within the panel and some of the new questions that were added to the survey in 2009. Calendar year 2009 data on the firms’ sixth year of operations are now available online, in the NORC Data Enclave, and at the Census Bureau’s Research Data Centers.2

1. Questionnaires and other data documentation are available at
2. More information on all versions is available at