The Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence (CAUSEE)

Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence

The Comprehensive Australian Study of Entrepreneurial Emergence research project, or CAUSEE, is Australia’s largest research project on business start-ups and the development of young firms. The project has fundamentally improved our understanding of independent entrepreneurship in Australia, and continues to do so. The CAUSEE data set is currently in the public domain, free for anyone to use.

Between 2007 and 2013 CAUSEE followed a large, random sample of 625 emerging (but not yet operating when first contacted) business start-ups and another random sample of 559 newly established young firms (which traded and had positive cash-flow when first contacted). In addition, judgment samples of 100+ ‘higher-potential’ ventures in each category complement the study. Founders of these ventures participated in five rounds of comprehensive interviewing about the ventures and their development.

The Chief Investigators behind the project were professors Per Davidsson and Paul Steffens. Apart from the salary and scholarship funding provided by or through QUT, the project was funded by two grants from the Australian Research Council (DP06666016 and LP0776845) with additional contributions from industry partners BDO and National Australia Bank. The Australian Commonwealth Department of Industry and Innovation (DIIS) later funded the fifth round of data collection and the preparations to make the data set and relevant documentation available to other users.

This video provides an overview of the project. A fuller description of the project can be found here. A more technical overview is offered here.

CAUSEE Outputs

The CAUSEE project has yielded voluminous, rich, and varied outputs. The following link organises them by type.

Scholarly Journal Articles (12)

Research Reports (13)

Dissertations and Theses (7)

Book Chapters (8)

Videos (5)

Research Vignettes (5)

ACCESS to CAUSEE and related data sets

The CAUSEE data and documentation is available here.

Selected CAUSEE data is also part of a publicly available, five-country data set combing data from five country studies applying harmonised methodology. See here and here.

Through the Australian Centre for Entrepreneurship Research, Australia participates in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), which compares entrepreneurial activity across countries using samples very similar to those used for CAUSEE. The latest GEM data is more current than CAUSEE, but does not follow the ventures over time. Please visit the ACE GEM project page here for more information and outputs.

Funding / Grants

  • Australian Research Council (ARC), National Australia Bank, BDO