This paper generates and organizes stylized facts related to the dynamics of selfemployment activities in Brazil. The final purpose is to help the design of policies to assist micro-entrepreneurial units. The 'first part of the paper uses as a main tool of analysis transitional data constructed from household surveys. The longitudinal information used covers three transition horizons: 1-month, 12-month and 5-year periods. Quantitative flows analysis assesses the main origins, destinies and various types of risks assumed by microentrepreneurial activities. Complementarily, logistic regressions provides evidence on the main characteristics and resources of micro-entrepreneurial units. In particular, we use the movements from self-employment to employer activities as measures of entrepreneurial success. We also use these transitions as measures of employment creation intensity within the self-employed segment.The second part of the paper explores various data sources. First, we attempt to analyze the life-cycle trajectories and determinants of self-employment. We use cohort data constructed from PME and qualitative data on financial and work history factors related to the opening of small bussiness from the informal firms survey implemented during 1994. Second, we apply a standart Mincerian wage equation approach to self-employment profits. This exerci se attempts to capture the correlation patterns between micro-entrepreneurial performance and a variety of firms leveI variables present in the 1994 Informal Survey. Finally, we use a a survey on the poor enterpreneurs of Rocinha favela as a laboratory to study poor entrepreneurs resources and behavior.In sum, the main questions pursued in the paper are: i) who are the Brazilian selfemployed?; ii) in particular: what is relative importance among the self-employed of subsistence activities versus those activities with growth and capital accumulation potential?; iii) what are the main static and dynamic determinants ofmicro-entrepreneurial success?; iv) what is the degree ofrisk associated with micro-entrepreneurial activities in Brazil?; v) What is the life-cycle profile of self-employment?; vi) what are the main constraints on poor entrepreneurs activities?