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Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship

This guide offers starting points for your research in entrepreneurship and for entrepreneurial endeavors. All resources are available to you online when you're signed in to Brown's network.

Industry Research

To do industry level research you need to identify the common industry name and a system that you will see in many reports and databases is called the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).

Overview on NAICS (pronounced "nakes") with examples

In this system, establishments are grouped together if they do similar things in similar ways, and analysts in think tanks, information or data vendors and governments perform analysis and produce research based on those groupings.

When you are in the early stages of your research, the insights and trends in these reports can help you learn more about industry operations, what the outlook is, and what recent changes have taken place.

Official NAICS Website

Public reports

Trade associations, government agencies, and the private sector sometimes provide parts of their research to the public for free.

To find more official publications, add filetype:PDF to your search

  1. Browse NAICS and choose an industry, or look up a competitor and see how they are classified
  2. Search part of the name, plus filetype:PDF (example: Independent Artists Industry filetype:PDF)

Library Databases for Industry Research

Note: these are not limited to North America. 
Databases contain reports on industries and companies around the world.