Social entrepreneurship: A content analysis

Competing definitions and limited empirical research are impediments to the emerging field of social
entrepreneurship. Our study provides a systematic review of the literature and empirical materials used.
A standardized search of academic databases and citation analyses revealed trends in the literature.
Content analysis was applied to a total of 567 unique articles from 1987 to 2008 revealing patterns in the
research. A total of 274 unique case studies or examples were cited in 123 articles, and we analysed their
characteristics. Generally, we found very little empirical data on the topic, confirming the need for more
rigorous empirical research.

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