The Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) is a panel study of “4,928 businesses founded in 2004 and tracked over their early years of operation, through 2011. KFS 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 personality traits of their founders”.

Entrepreneurship researchers can mine and analyze this rich dataset with numerous variables to unearth novel empirical findings. For example, the KFS survey includes data on entrepreneurial characteristics such as years of industry experience, past entrepreneurial efforts, the intensity of work in terms of weekly investment of time in the business, etc.

Kauffman Firm Survey

Access to KFS

A subscription is required to access some parts of the KFS data though much of the data is public and available for free. KFS data has been used in the following entrepreneurship research:

  • Coleman, S., & Robb, A. (2009). A comparison of new firm financing by gender: evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey data. Small Business Economics, 33(4), 397–411.
  • Keyhani, M., Deutsch, Y., Madhok, A., & Lévesque, M. (2021). Exploration-exploitation and acquisition likelihood in new ventures. Small Business Economics.
  • Boudreaux, C. J. (2019). The Importance of Industry to Strategic Entrepreneurship: Evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 20(1), 93–114.
  • Galope, R. V. (2016). A Different Certification Effect of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. Economic Development Quarterly, 30(4), 371–383.