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Commerce

Databases, research tools, and other useful resources related to Commerce.

Hot Topics Overview

The Hot Topics section of this library guide contains information and resources on current subjects that are of interest to many of our students. Many of these topics are inter-related and share common resources.  Additional topics will be added in the future. Many of the library databases listed elsewhere in this guide can provide useful information.    

Hot Topics

Private Equity is capital that is not listed or traded on a public exchange.  PE are funds and investors who directly invest in companies. It is favored by startups and companies because it offers access to liquidity as an alternative to traditional funding sources like high interest bank loans, and doesn't require quarterly performance reports.  Venture Capital , Leveraged Buyouts, Distressed Funding, and Real Estate Private Equity are types of PE. There are many library resources available to assist your research on this topic. The following list offers some additional suggestions.  

  • National Venture Capital Association The voice of the U.S. venture capital and startup community. NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. The NVCA Yearbook is an annual publication documenting the trends and analysis of VC activity in the US.   
  • NVCA/PitchBook Venture Monitor quarterly report. Complete look at venture capital activity - fundraising, investments, exits, and other industry analysis. 
  • The Growth Company Guide to Investors Legal guide about deal structuring. Information on investors, how to negotiate, how to evaluate funding proposals, how to protect and license technology, joint ventures, etc.  
  • prequin: Source of data, insights and tools for alternative assets - private equity, venture capital, hedge funds, real estate, infrastructure, private debt, natural resources, and secondaries. Private Capital reports: 2017, 2018 
  • Crunchbase Who is funding what? Find prospects, investments, investors, and conduct market research. Source of company profiles.
  • VC Experts The first investable VC Index. Library of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) forms, news, and information.   
  • Angel List Social network for funders and young businesses.
  • Gust Startup Network of founders and investment professionals. 

 

Venture Capital is money used to support new or unusual business ventures that exhibit above-average growth rates, significant potential for market expansion, and are in need of additional financing to sustain growth or further research and development; equity or equity-type financing traditionally provided at the commercialization stage, increasingly available prior to commercialization.  Cash infusion is frequently why a startup looks at venture capital funding. It can also be a source of marketing expertise and management and legal assistance.  There are many library resources available to assist your research on this topic. The following list offers some additional suggestions. 

  • National Venture Capital Association The voice of the U.S. venture capital and startup community. NVCA advocates for public policy that supports the American entrepreneurial ecosystem. NVCA arms the venture community for success, serving as the leading resource for venture capital data, practical education, peer-led initiatives, and networking. The NVCA Yearbook is an annual publication documenting the trends and analysis of VC activity in the US.   
  • NVCA/PitchBook Venture Monitor quarterly report. Complete look at venture capital activity - fundraising, investments, exits, and other industry analysis. 
  • A Beginner's Guide to Venture Capital from the MIT - Sloan School of Business.  Explains how the venture capital industry works and provides entrepreneurs with things to consider before seeking funding.
  • The Growth Company Guide to Investors Legal guide about deal structuring. Information on investors, how to negotiate, how to evaluate funding proposals, how to protect and license technology, joint ventures, etc.  
  • Crunchbase Who is funding what? Find prospects, investments, investors, and conduct market research. Source of company profiles.
  • PwC MoneyTree The PwC/CB Insights quarterly MoneyTree Report. Contains historical trend data (1995-) and updates on VC and the high-growth startups ecosystem.
  • VC Experts The first investable VC Index. Library of Private Equity (PE) and Venture Capital (VC) forms, news, and information.   
  • Angel List Social network for funders and young businesses.
  • Gust Startup Network of founders and investment professionals. 
  • AlleyWatch Focused on the New York technology, startup, and entrepreneurial ecosystem 
  • FunDZ Startup database of all funded companies in the U.S. (paid)  

  

Corporate Social Responsibility is a business model that helps companies be socially accountable - they are conscious of the economic, social, and environmental impact their business has on society. CSR is beneficial to the company and its consumers. It can create a stronger bond between the company and its employees, and help all of them feel more connected to the world.  It can be used by any company, but is usually a strategy of larger corporations.  It can increase productivity, grow the business, strengthen the brand, and enable the company to set standards of behavior for industry peers.  ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has created the standard ISO 26000 Social Responsibility as guidance on how businesses and organizations can operate in a socially responsible way. There are many library resources available to assist your research on these topic. The following list offers some additional suggestions.

  • globalEDGE: Social Responsibility Created by the International Business Center and the Eli Broad College at Michigan State University. Knowledge web-portal connecting international business professionals to a wealth of information, insights and learning resources on global business activities. Tools and Data 
  • CSR wire: The Corporate Responsibility Newswire 
  • Justmeans: "The Leading Community for CSR & Sustainability News and Content"   
  • Covalence EthicalQuote: Reputation index that tracks the largest global companies on CSR, ESG, Ethics and Sustainability 
  • UN Global Compact: Policy initiative for companies committed to aligning their operations with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and corruption. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the UN Convention Against Corruption.
  • CSRHubWeb-based tool that combines employee, environmental, community, and governance ratings on most major companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. Search. Data sources.

Socially Responsible Investing, or SRI, is investing in companies that have a positive social impact - those engaged in social justice, environmental sustainability, or alternative energy and clean technology - and not investing in companies that produce or sell addictive substances or harmful technology. 

Environmental, Social and Governance are three factors used to measure the sustainability and social impact of an investment or business. They are designed to identify potential core ethical and social risks that can impact corporate performance. Environmental risks created by businesses can have negative impacts on our water, air, land, health, and the ecosystem. Topics include managing resources, climate impact, pollution, and disclosure. Positive outcomes can include minimizing environmental liabilities, decreased operating expenses, reduced litigation and reputational risk.  Social risks are the impact of business activities on society. Topics include labor-management relations, protecting human rights, health and safety, and product integrity.  Positive outcomes can include improved moral and productivity, reducing absenteeism, and increased brand loyalty. Governance risks are about how the business is operated. Topics include diversity and inclusion, board membership, board compensation, accountability, shareholder rights, disclosure of information about company activities. Positive outcomes can include better alignment of shareholders and management/ownership, reduced financial risk, and brand strength. There are many library resources available to assist your research on these topic. The following list offers some additional suggestions. 

  • Covalence EthicalQuote: Reputation index that tracks the largest global companies on CSR, ESG, Ethics and Sustainability 
  • Good Jobs First"national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials, promoting corporate and government accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. We provide timely, accurate information on best practices in state and local job subsidies, and on the many ties between smart growth and good jobs."   
  • UN Global Compact: Policy initiative for companies committed to aligning their operations with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and corruption. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the UN Convention Against Corruption.
  • CSRHubWeb-based tool that combines employee, environmental, community, and governance ratings on most major companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. SearchData sources.

Sustainability is defined as meeting the needs of the present without negatively impacting the needs of future generations. It is a methodology for increasing long term stakeholder value by focusing on the ethical, social, environmental, cultural, and economic aspects of doing business.  It focuses on three areas that have been accepted by the United Nations as an accounting framework -  the TBL, or Triple Bottom Line: economic, environmental, and social (or profits, planet, and people). Economic is at its core the concept that a business needs to be profitable to be sustainable. Not simply financially profitable, but that it has economic value to the community that it is a part of.  Topics include business ethics, governance, risk management, and compliance.  Environmental is about the impact the business has on the environment. Topics include natural capital, carbon neutral, cradle to grave, zero-waste, recycling, wastewater, land reclamation, and packaging. Some industries focus on benchmarking.  Social is about securing and managing support - of their employees, community (both local and global), and stakeholders. Topics include social equity, human capital, employee retention, benefits, pay, training, sponsorship, local public projects, supply chain and goodwill. There are many library resources available to assist your research on these topic. The following list offers some additional suggestions.   

  • CSR wire: The Corporate Responsibility Newswire 
  • Justmeans: "The Leading Community for CSR & Sustainability News and Content" 
  • Justmeans: "The Leading Community for CSR & Sustainability News and Content" 
  • Covalence EthicalQuote: Reputation index that tracks the largest global companies on CSR, ESG, Ethics and Sustainability 
  • UN Global Compact: Policy initiative for companies committed to aligning their operations with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labor, environment and corruption. Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights to Work, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, and the UN Convention Against Corruption. Guide to Corporate Sustainability 2015  PDF 
  • CSRHubWeb-based tool that combines employee, environmental, community, and governance ratings on most major companies in North America, Europe, and Asia. SearchData sources