Microbusiness Innovation Science and Technology (MIST) Project

Very small businesses, or microbusinesses, are a vital but often neglected part of the economy. Sometimes they are major innovators, being the first to bring new technology to our economy. They frequently operate differently than larger companies. For example, microbusinesses are typically more flexible and able to change more readily than larger corporations. They are more likely to have volunteers or family members perform some of the work.

Although larger businesses are regularly studied, relatively little is known about the smallest businesses—those with fewer than five employees (i.e., microbusinesses). The Microbusiness Innovation Science and Technology (MIST) Survey will collect research and development and other innovation-related data from small, independent U.S. microbusinesses.

Key Goals


Survey Population for the Pretest Study and Pilot Survey

The sample for MIST will be drawn from all independently owned corporations, partnerships, and sole proprietorships in the United States with fewer than five employees and in operation during 2011.

Survey Focus

Contact Information

For additional information about this effort, contact

Audrey Kindlon
Research and Development Statistics Program
National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 965
Arlington, VA 22230

Phone: (703) 292-2332
E-mail: akindlon@nsf.gov