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Program Evaluation > Methodology, Definitions, and Scope  > Research Agenda

Policy Summary

Carolina Small Business Development Fund seeks to contribute to scholarly and practitioner dialogues on community and economic development. That goal is achieved by producing relevant and accessible data analysis products which provide evidence-based policy recommendations. Its important that our approach in this area reflect best practices and actively attempts to address knowledge gaps. This document outlines the evidence basis for our research agenda which focuses on (1) the role of small firms in economic development, (2) highlighting the needs of under-served people, and (3) promoting evidence-based outcome evaluations. The policy is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

Why This Matters

The overwhelming bulk of the scholarship shows that small businesses are key for regional economies. Our publications highlight this to policymakers, development practitioners, scholars, and the media. Since launching its research operations, Carolina Small Business has remained committed to ensuring our research and policy analysis is objective, politically neutral, and methodologically rigorous.

Suggested Citation

Carolina Small Business Development Fund. 2020. Research Agenda Overview: Theoretical Rational and Evidence Basis (Updated June 1). Raleigh, NC. https://carolinasmallbusiness.org/evaluation/research-agenda/.


Research Agenda (PDF)


Research Program

Our work is shaped by evidence-based and apolitical research highlighting why small businesses are the foundation of economic development.

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Data Transparency

Carolina Small Business values openness about how we measure our impacts. We publish how we define outcomes to demonstrate our commitment to accountability.

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