Discover Data

This directory contains UK data sources that include information on micro entrepreneurs, microbusinesses or self-employment. Find out more about theĀ Directory of Micro Data Sources.

In addition to the datasets that can be searched for through this section of the portal, the UK’s Office for National Statistics also provides the Virtual Microdata Laboratory (VML). The VML provides access to the microdata used to produce many of ONS’ aggregate datasets.

Researchers researching microbusiness may find accessing some of the VML’s micro-datasets particularly useful, since it allows for, for example, the creation of control groups against which to compare microbusinesses with other types of business, or with each other. For example, the Business Structure Database microdata can be accessed through the VML and contains some microbusinesses, albeit the bulk of the businesses included are those registered for VAT, which many microbusinesses will not be.

Information regarding the Virtual Microdata Laboratory can be found by visiting relevant pages on ONS’ website.

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Study / Data source title Data type Years Principal investigator Analysis unit More...
Employer Skills Survey (UKESS)Survey data2011-presentUK Commission for Employment and SkillsAll establishments in the UK in 2013 with two or more people working at them (regardless of whether or not they owned the organisation) were eligible for the survey.More...
National Employer Skills Survey (NESS)Survey data2007-2009Learning and Skills Council, UK Commission for Employment and SkillsEmployers in England registered for VAT and/or PAYE in 2007 - 2009.More...
Scottish Employer Skills Survey (SESS)Survey data2008-2010Scottish Government. Education Analytical Services DivisionEmployers in Scotland in 2008-2010More...