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BUS 200

A guide to help BUS 200 students complete their company and foreign market entry analysis.


Welcome, BUS 200 students! I'm Kayla, your librarian for Business. I've designed this guide to help you with your course assignment. Below, you'll find instructions and tips on how to find:

  • Company information, which you will need to complete your company overview and do your PESTLE analysis
  • Country information, which you will need to help determine if and how your assigned US company should enter one, none, or both of the assigned foreign markets 

As Mason students, your tuition helps to fund the acquisition of important business resources via the Libraries. Many of our databases are used by major companies for commercial purposes; they are strong and contain lots of helpful information, but if you run into any difficulty along the way, please email me at or schedule an appointment on the left-hand side of this guide.

Finding What You Need for BUS 200

The following databases are going to give you thorough, reliable reports on your assigned countries. Depending on the database, these reports include basic information about the country's history, infrastructure, economy and finances, trade, politics, and sociocultural trends. Getting a complete picture of a country's market conditions is crucial for determining whether or not your business/product should enter that market, so I recommend using a few of the different databases listed below:

You may be tempted to just Google your company for your assignment. Since public companies are subject to strict reporting guidelines per the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a lot of their information is freely available on the web or on their own website. The problem with just using a company's website is that the website is part of its brand and its marketing. Some of what you'll find, like corporate structure or store locations, might be reliable and straightforward, but you want to make sure to balance your research with independent information sources that aren't created by or affiliated with that company, including the Company Reports offered through the library's databases.

Before you start researching your company, you'll want to determine whether it's public or private. Public companies are publicly traded on a stock exchange, whereas private companies are not. Because they are publicly traded and have an obligation to their investors and the public, public companies are required to file regular reports with the SEC, which include lots of detailed information, such as financials. Keep in mind that private companies don't have these same standards, so it is usually much more difficult to find information about them. 

For your project, you'll need to decide who your target buyer is. Is it B2B? Are you targeting specific consumers? Below, you'll find databases with information about potential consumers for your product: 

Comparing Data Between Countries

When looking at financial data for multiple countries, you want to avoid making unequal comparisons. For example, if you're looking at GDP rates for different countries, you may run into a few issues:

  • A country's GDP is measured by its own currency and currencies differ across the world. In order to compare the GDP of countries with differing currencies, you would need to first convert them to a common denominator using an exchange rate, which states the value of one currency in the same terms as another currency. There are two exchange rates you can use here: Market Exchange Rates and Purchasing Power Parity (PPP). Because market exchange rates fluctuate, I recommend PPP exchange rates for cross-country comparisons of GDP (learn more here).

Luckily, our Passport database has already done the math for you. Watch the video below to see how to get GDP measured at PPP, as well as real GDP growth, for your assigned countries in Passport: