Data Resources

The Kauffman Foundation creates data overviews that provide guidance on how to use certain datasets. The data overviews serve several purposes:

  • To serve as data reference guides for academics, other data providers, or anyone interested in new research developments in entrepreneurship.
  • To provide short (up to two pages) overviews of data sets in one place that point to lots of relevant information but are highly curated and edited to ensure brevity and clarity.

1. Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE) Data Overview
The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE) data provides a snapshot of select economic and demographic characteristics of employer firms and business owners in 2014 by the 2-digit 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), at the national, state, and metropolitan area (top 50) levels, in the U.S. This survey conducted by the U.S. census Bureau is the largest annual survey of entrepreneurs ever done in the United States. It documents the story of American entrepreneurs, providing more frequent and extensive data than previously available. The ASE will supplement the Survey of Business Owners (SBO), conducted every five years.

2. Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS) Data Overview
The BDS provides annual measures of business dynamics (such as job creation and destruction, establishment births and deaths, and firm startups and shutdowns) for the economy and aggregated by establishment and firm characteristics. The BDS is created from the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), a confidential database available to qualified researchers through secure Census Bureau Research Data Centers. The use of the LBD as its source data permits tracking establishments and firms over time.

3. Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS) Data Overview
The BRDIS is the primary source of information on research and development performed or funded by businesses within the United States. The survey is conducted by the Census Bureau in accordance with an interagency agreement with the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. Results are used to assess trends in the performance and funding of business research and development. The annual survey examines a nationally representative sample of companies in manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries.

4. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) Data Overview
The University of Michigan’s HRS is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of more than 20,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. Since its launch in 1992, the study has collected information about income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and health care expenditures.

5. Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) Data Overview
The KFS is a panel study of 4,928 businesses founded in 2004 and tracked over their early years of operation. The survey focuses on the nature of new business formation activity; characteristics of the strategy, offerings, and employment patterns of new businesses; the nature of the financial and organizational arrangements of these businesses; and the characteristics of their founders.

6. National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) Database Data Overview
Walls & Associates converts Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) archival establishment data into a time-series database of establishment information, the National Establishment Time-Series (NETS) Database, which provides an annual record for a large part of the U.S. economy that includes establishment job creation and destruction, sales growth performance, survivability of business startups, mobility patterns, changes in primary markets, corporate affiliations that highlight M&A, and historical D&B credit and payment ratings.

6. COMETS
The Connecting Outcome Measures in Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Science (COMETS) database is the result of close to two decades of research, hard work, and dedication by a community of scholars working to join data about science, technology, and economic outcomes such that links between innovations, people, and businesses can be tracked better. COMETS is a direct outgrowth of the earlier StarTechZD, STAR (Science and Technology Agents of Revolution), and NanoBank database initiatives.

There are also four specialized NETS Databases to help researchers focus their NETS database requests, each with a PDF description and an Excel file for more in-depth analysis:

  1. An expanded Manufacturing Database [ PDF | XSLX ]
  2. An expanded Retail Database [ PDF | XSLX ]
  3. An All Publicly Listed Establishments Database [ PDF | XSLX ]
  4. A High-Technology database based on BLS occupation definitions [ PDF | XSLX ]

7. Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics II (PSED II) Data Overview
The PSED II offers a nationally-representative database for the United States to offer systematic, reliable, and generalizable data on the business formation process. It includes information on the proportion and characteristics of the adult population attempting to start new businesses, the kinds of activities nascent entrepreneurs undertake during the business start-up process and the proportion and characteristics of the start-up efforts that become infant firms. The PSED II follows a cohort of nascent entrepreneurs for three years beginning in 2005.

Data Sources and other Entrepreneurship Databases

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Federal Reserve

The World Bank


Do you manage a dataset? Google has metadata for science datasets to formalize their structure.