About Us

The World Bank Enterprise Survey (WBES) is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy’s private sector. To date, WBES have been carried out in 159 economies, totaling over 219,000 interviews. The WBES cover a broad range of topics related to the business environment including access to finance, corruption, infrastructure, competition, and performance measures. The surveys also collect data used in the Business Ready (B-READY) indicators. 

The World Bank’s Enterprise Analysis Unit has been carrying out the WBES since 2005, when the Global Methodology was developed to standardize firm-level data collection efforts. The Enterprise Analysis team is made up of economists and firm-level survey experts that both (1) conduct firm-level surveys, and (2) draw upon the wealth of firm-level data to produce research on the micro-economic foundations of growth.

The Enterprise Analysis Unit’s data, findings, and recommendations help policymakers identify, prioritize, and implement reforms and policies to support strong and resilient private-sector economic activity. Key research topics include firm performance, job creation, gender parity for entrepreneurs and workers, informality, and export performance.

All the data are publicly available on the data portal as soon as surveys are completed. 



Other Surveys

In addition to the WBES, which are the main product of the Unit, the Enterprise Analysis Unit also conducts other surveys. Key products include:

  1. Informal Sector Surveys - surveys of informal (unregistered) enterprises.
  2. Micro Enterprise Surveys - surveys collecting data on formal firms with less than five workers.
  3. COVID-19 Surveys - short firm-level surveys administered by telephone to assess the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic during 2020.
  4. Topic Surveys - private sector surveys on topics such as innovation, tourism, among others. 


WBES Partners

Prior to 2022, the WBES implemented in European and Central Asian economies were also known as Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys (BEEPS) and were jointly conducted by the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Commission (EC). Prior to 2022 the WBES in Latin America were jointly funded with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The WBES in the Middle East and North Africa in 2014 and 2018 were jointly funded with EBRD and the EIB.

Other institutions have also contributed to the WBES: the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) - now FCDO - in South Asia and a subset of African economies, the Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) in a subset of francophone West African economies (DGGF).


Enterprise Surveys to end poverty on a livable planet


Contact Us


World Bank's Enterprise Analysis Unit

1818 H St, NW Washington, DC 20433


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