The data collection for entrepreneurship project was completed in June 2017. To measure entrepreneurial activity, annual data was collected directly from 143 company registrars on the number of newly registered firms. The data can help answer such questions as these:

  • What are the trends in new firm creation across regions and income groups?
  • What is the relationship between entrepreneurship and the business environment and financial development?
  • How much did the financial crisis affect entrepreneurial activity in the formal sector?
  • What is the relationship between gender and entrepreneurship?

Data are provided on new business entry density, defined as the number of newly registered corporations per 1,000 working-age people (those ages 15–64). As in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business report, the units of measurement are private, formal sector companies with limited liability.

Why it Matters

Entrepreneurial activity is a pillar of economic growth. For evidence of the economic power of entrepreneurship, we need look no further than the United States, where young firms have been shown to be a more important source of net job creation than incumbent firms. The Entrepreneurship Database is a critical source of data that facilitates the measurement of entrepreneurial activity across countries and over time. The data also allows for a deeper understanding of the relationship between new firm registration, the regulatory environment, and economic growth. Previous research using the Entrepreneurship Database has shown a significant relationship between the level of cost, time, and procedures required to start a business and new firm registration.

Data from 143 economies on the number of newly registered firms per year over the period 2006-2016 can help answer questions regarding trends in new firm creation, the relationship between entrepreneurship and the business environment, and the effect of the financial crisis on entrepreneurial activity. Additional data on the function, structure and automation of business registries provides valuable insight into the impact of registration, and information and communication technology (ICT) reforms on new firm registration.