Kapa Research
World Bank Enterprise Surveys

Supporting Efficient Private Economic Activity

World Bank Enterprise Surveys (WBES) are nationally representative firm-level surveys that cover a broad range of business environment topics as well as firms' characteristics and performance measures. The World Bank Enterprise Analysis Unit draws upon this firm-level data to produce research on the microeconomic foundations of growth.

WBES findings and recommendations help policymakers identify, prioritize, and implement reforms of policies and institutions that support efficient private economic activity. Key research topics include firm performance and job creation, legal gender parity for entrepreneurs and workers, informality, and export performance.

The World Bank has partnered with Kapa Research to conduct enterprise surveys in economies in North and South America, Europe, and beyond.

WBES projects currently managed by Kapa Research

Bosnia and Herzegovina

360 Firms


720 Firms


1,350 Firms 


920 Firms


480 Firms

Czech Republic

480 Firms


360 Firms


600 Firms


870 Firms


360 Firms


150 Firms

North Macedonia

360 Firms


385 Firms


1,200 Firms


1,000 Firms


960 Firms

Slovak Republic

480 Firms

United Kingdom

1,440 Firms

WBES Methodology


Confidentiality of the survey respondents and the sensitive information they provide is necessary to ensure the greatest degree of survey participation, integrity and confidence in the quality of the data. Surveys are usually carried out in cooperation with business organizations and government agencies promoting job creation and economic growth, but confidentiality is never compromised.


The Enterprise Survey is answered by business owners and top managers. Sometimes the survey respondent calls company accountants and human resource managers into the interview to answer questions in the sales and labor sections of the survey. Typically 1200-1800 interviews are conducted in larger economies, 360 interviews are conducted in medium-sized economies, and for smaller economies, 150 interviews take place. 


The manufacturing and services sectors are the primary business sectors of interest. This corresponds to firms classified with ISIC codes 10-33, 41-43, 45-47, 49-53, 55-56, 58, 61-62, 69-75, 79, and 95 (ISIC Rev.4). Formal (registered) companies with 5 or more employees are targeted for interview.

Services firms include construction, retail, wholesale, hotels, restaurants, transport, storage, communications, professional services, and IT*. Firms with 100% government/state ownership are not eligible to participate in an Enterprise Survey. Occasionally, for a few surveyed economies, other sectors are included in the companies surveyed such as education or health-related businesses. In each economy, businesses in the cities/regions of major economic activity are interviewed.

Survey Structure

The Enterprise Surveys Unit uses two instruments: the Manufacturing Questionnaire and the Services Questionnaire. Although many questions overlap, some are only applicable to one type of business. For example, retail firms are not asked about production and nonproduction workers.

The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures.

Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a economy’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance. The mode of data collection is face-to-face interviews.

Questions about Kapa Research & World Bank Enterprise Surveys?

Contact Gerasimos Routzounis, Kapa's WBES Project Director at groutz@kapa-research.com