About the Study

NORC at the University of Chicago has been conducting research studies in the public interest for more than eighty years.  NORC is a non-profit organization with no political affiliation. We are one of the oldest and most respected independent social science research organizations in the world. 

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is sponsoring this study. Kauffman is a private, nonpartisan foundation that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development.

We are conducting a national research study to understand the interest in business ownership in America.  This study is meant to represent all adults in the U.S. population.  That means we need to include those who have never owned a business, some who are planning a business, current business owners, and former business owners - we want to hear from everyone. 

We are conducting this study from 2021 to 2026. The study includes collecting survey data once per year over the course of five years. 


Please be assured that any information you provide will be held in strict confidence. Your name, address, or telephone number will never be associated with your answers. No one will ever know if you participated or how you answered the questions. Your answers will be combined with those of other Americans taking part in the survey. It is important to us to protect your information. We do not sell your information.

The EPOP Study data will be used to understand business planning across the nation, by state, and local areas.  Interactive Data shows you the data being used from prior surveys. In the News shows you some information researchers have learned from prior surveys.

Only a few people who work on the study ever see any personal information. Information that could identify you in any way are separated from your survey answers, and all results are reported as averages and percentages. No names or other identifying information are ever published or shared in any way. 

No. Your private information is kept confidential. No one will ever know that you participated in the study unless you tell them yourself. The survey answers you give are used for research purposes only. If you have any questions about your rights as a study participant, you may call 1-866-309-0542, toll free, and leave a message asking to speak to the Chairperson of the Institutional Review Board.

Yes. The survey information we collect is encrypted at all times. The survey program and your responses are stored on a secure data server. The data server uses HTTPS connections to ensure the survey answers you enter and send from your computer or phone are encrypted as they are sent over the internet to our servers. The survey link is independently verified as a secure website.

You were selected for the survey based on your residential address. NORC maintains a list of all household addresses in the U.S. To make sure this study represents all kinds of people across the entire nation, NORC researchers scientifically and randomly selected a representative sample of household addresses in every state, including yours. 

Your address was randomly selected from among all U.S. addresses. After selecting your address and the rest of the addresses for the study, we asked a reputable data vendor to provide publicly available information about anyone living at the selected addresses. 

Your Participation

This survey is for all types of adults living in the U.S.  While the survey asks for opinions about business ownership, we want one adult in every home selected to complete the survey even if they have never owned or wanted to own a business.

This study is your opportunity to represent your local area and contribute your opinions about owning a business – even if you have never owned a business or never wanted to own a business.  The survey data is used by researchers and policymakers who are trying to understand the patterns of business development in America today.  Taking the survey ensures that your experiences and local area are well represented. We also provide a gift to thank you for your time and effort. 

Your household was scientifically selected to represent your local area and a cross-section of the country.

Your address was randomly selected from among all U.S. addresses. Random selection ensures our survey results will include the information from people of all different ages, races, regions, employment statuses, education and training, and life experiences. Your participation helps us ensure we accurately represent households like yours.

No. Your household and your opinions cannot be replaced by anyone else!

The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes based on your experiences and responses.

We understand you are busy. You can take this survey at any time within the given time frame or even call in to have one of our staff help you complete it over the phone at 866-611-EPOP. It is important that you participate; your information helps make the EPOP study complete and representative.

Yes. When returning to the study online, enter your unique login information again and you can pick up where you left off.


The survey is available in English and Spanish. La encuesta esta disponible en ingles o español. 

You can take the survey on any Internet-connected computer, tablet, or cell phone.  Or you can call 866-611-EPOP, and a member of the team can interview you by phone.

Claiming a Gift Code

Once complete, you will be able to select an electronic gift card from a variety of retailers.  The gift card code will be sent to you immediately.  The steps to pick and get your gift card code are at the end of the survey and very easy to follow.  

You can contact EPOP project staff anytime at or by calling 866-611-EPOP and a member of the team will quickly address any issue related to your gift card code. We appreciate your participation and want to be sure you get your thank you gift.

Contact Us

We would be happy to answer any additional questions you may have either via e-mail or by phone. You can contact us anytime at or by calling 866-611-EPOP.