Entrepreneurship in the Population

The Entrepreneurship in the Population (EPOP) project aims to better understand experiences with entrepreneurial activity in the U.S. population.

The EPOP project is a multi-year study of entrepreneurship in the U.S. The overarching goal of this project is to profile and prospectively monitor entrepreneurial activities across the nation. The project is funded by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development.

Over the next five years, a cross-sectional annual survey – nationally representative of adults residing in the U.S. – will measure the interest in, involvement with, and experiences with entrepreneurship across the population.

To understand entrepreneurship more fully in the U.S. economy, it is critical to study the pathways to business ownership and extend the scope of research beyond existing business owners. Thus, the survey will consider the experiences not only of current entrepreneurs but also individuals in the process of starting a business, as well as those who are no longer business owners. This survey is particularly timely, given the many changes individuals and businesses have experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Survey findings will be broadly disseminated in order to provide researchers, practitioners, and policymakers insights into the experiences of individuals at various points along the entrepreneurial journey, as well as the influences that support or inhibit entrepreneurship across the U.S.

NORC will disseminate the results widely via data briefs, a data dashboard, public use data files, and microdata files to facilitate relevant and timely research on entrepreneurship trends in the U.S. economy. Reliable estimation will be possible at national, regional, and state levels, as well as in key metropolitan statistical areas.

The first data collection for the EPOP project is set to take place in early 2022.

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