KFS User Guide

While entrepreneurial activity is an important part of our economy, data about U.S. businesses in their early years of operation have been extremely limited. Only recently has it become apparent what important contributions new and young businesses make to job creation and innovation activities.

As part of an effort to understand the dynamics of new businesses in the United States, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsored the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), a panel study of new businesses founded in 2004 that were tracked annually over their first eight years of operation. Tracking businesses over time allows us to follow business evolutions that would not be apparent in cross-sectional snapshots, the more typical collection method. The KFS dataset provides researchers with a unique opportunity to study a panel of new businesses from startup to sustainability (or exit), 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. The Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) is currently the largest, longest longitudinal survey of new businesses in the world. Data are available through calendar year 2011, the eighth year of operations for continuing businesses. Additionally, since our panel came into existence before the most recent recession, following these businesses allows us to get a picture of how young businesses in the U.S. were affected by the crisis.

We hope that you find the following chapters useful in analyzing the KFS data. Feel free to contact us with comments, suggestions, and/or questions.

Download the Kauffman Firm Survey User guide.

Please also download this ZIP file, which contains all of the STATA programs and code used for the various analyses described in the KFS User Guide.