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BBCE - The British Business Census of Entrepreneurs


Future developments

Future developments

The BBCE, this website and the links to the data in I-CeM are starting points for much other research. We have suggested in The Age of Entrepreneurship (Chapter 12) that key dimensions for further analysis fall into three groups:

1. Finer-grained analysis of developments over 1851-1911

Finer-grained analysis of developments over 1851-1911 using data at the I-CeM 797 occode level for individual business categories (such as specific sectors like tin plate manufacture, jewellers, blacksmiths, doctors); different types of families and households, the unoccupied and unemployed, labour force stocks and flows, migration, and the geography of specific cities, towns, villages or other spatial units, and more extended comparisons with modern censuses.

2. Using BBCE as a starting point to build a more general resource for business history

Although the database has to be anonymised because of restrictions from the licence holder for I-CeM (FindMyPast), the names and addresses of census respondents can be accessed through a special licence via the UKDA. Similarly for 1871 name and address data are restricted in BBCE by the supplier (S&N), but can be made available under licence. This opens the way to add to the database by inputs from the user community. We believe the data are near-complete for non-corporates, though there are some omissions. Other contributors can add to these data so that BBCE continues to grow in value as a resource for the community. Please supply information that identifies missing entrepreneurs or missing business connections:

  • Individual firms not included in the database but found to exist by other users
  • Local, sector or other case studies that fill out 'all' firms; e.g. by using record linkage to trade directories
  • Additional data on firms from other sources, e.g. capital, sales or profits
  • Developing infills such as identifying 'innovators'
  • Developing greater information on the corporate sector, by extending the record linkage we have achieved from the Directory of Directors

3. Intercensal record linkage to track firms over time

Inter-census record linkage to track firms over time, and individual's movements between firms and other occupations. We have begun this process.

These suggestions do not exhaust the possibilities, some of which are being developed by the BBCE team. We hope the BBCE is the start of a journey towards a wider understanding of business development over time based on whole-population analysis for research communities in many disciplines.