The Sharing Economy and Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development


In the present work, the authors set out to identify common ground between social entrepreneurship and the sharing economy, justify the application of these models for the sustainable development of society, as well as conduct a bibliographic study into these concepts to identify areas of overlap between them. For a more in-depth analysis, we studied 20 social entrepreneurs and 20 English versions of websites of organizations that implement the sharing economy model. Based on semantic data analysis and latent Dirichlet allocation, the texts under examination were grouped into 5 topics according to frequency of occurrence of keywords using the Python programming language. In order to trace a connection between these topics and sustainable development, we selected words that can serve as markers of environmental, social and economic aspects of the activities of these organizations. Each identified topic has appeared to have an aspect of digitalization. The study revealed that the application of the sharing economy model by social entrepreneurs and companies contributes to the sustainable development of society. The obtained results can be used in elaboration of approaches to provide the sustainable development of society.

Author Biographies

Evgeny V. Popov, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Evgeny V. Popov is the Director of the Center for Social and Economic Research and Expertise at the Ural Institute of Management, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. Dr. Popov is a corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Science, Doctor of Economics, Professor. Evgeny Popov has been recognized an Honorary Professor in a number of Russian universities, including Ural Federal University, Kazan Innovative University named after V. G. Timirsyasov, Tyumen State University, and Chelyabinsk State University. In addition to serving as one of the leading researchers of the Russian school of institutional economics, Evgeny Popov is known as the originator of the concepts of econotronics and minieconomics. Today, his main research foci include smart cities, sharing economy, ecosystems, and intercompany relations in the context of digital transformation. His works have received more than 735 citations.

Anna Yu. Veretennikova, Institute of Economics, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Anna Yu. Veretennikova, Cand. Sci. (Economics), Senior Researcher at the Institute of Economics, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She is a part-time employee at the Ural Institute of Management of the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, and an Associate Professor at Ural Federal University. In 2008, she graduated from the Ural State Technical University with the specialty Innovation Management. In 2013, Anna received the degree of Candidate of Sciences. Today, Anna conducts research in institutional economics in the sector of public goods, social innovations, and sharing economy. She has published more than 120 works in Russian and English.

Kseniya М. Kozinskaya, Ural Federal University, Yekaterinburg, Russia

Kseniya M. Kozinskaya is a post-graduate student at Ural Federal University. Since 2016, Ksenia has been conducting research in the fields of history and economics. During this time, she has published more than 30 articles, including six in English. Her research interests include social entrepreneurship, sharing economics, and institutional economics.


  • Abu-Saifan, S. (2012). Social entrepreneurship: Definition and boundaries. Technology Innovation Management Review, 2(2), 22–27.

  • Acquier, A., Daudigeos, T., & Pinkse, J. (2017). Promises and paradoxes of the sharing economy: An organizing framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 125, 1–10.

  • Akhmedova, A., Mas-Machuca, M., & Marimon, F. (2020). Value co-creation in the sharing economy: The role of quality of service provided by peer. Journal of Cleaner Production, 266, 121736.

  • Alipour, S. M. H., & Galal Ahmed, K. (2021). Assessing the effect of urban form on social sustainability: a proposed “Integrated Measuring Tools Method” for urban neighborhoods in Dubai. City, Territory and Architecture, 8, 1.

  • Bauwens, M. (2006). The political economy of peer production. Post-autistic economics review, 37, 33–44.

  • Benkler, Y. (2017). Peer production, the commons, and the future of the firm. Strategic Organization, 15(2), 264–274.

  • Bonciu, F., & Balgar, A. C. (2016). Sharing economy as a contributor to sustainable growth, an EU perspective. Romanian Journal of European Affairs, 16(2), 36–45.

  • Botsman, R., & Rogers, R. (2010). What’s mine is yours: the rise of collaborative consumption. Harper Business.

  • Buzinde, C., Shockley, G., Andereck K., Dee, E., & Frank, P. (2017). Theorizing social entrepreneurship within tourism studies. In P. Sheldon & R. Daniele (Eds.), Social entrepreneurship and tourism. Tourism on the verge (pp. 21–34). Springer.

  • Cheng, M., & Edwards, D. (2019). A comparative automated content analysis approach on the review of the sharing economy discourse in tourism and hospitality. Current Issues in Tourism, 22(1), 35–49.

  • Choi, N., & Majumdar, S. (2014). Social entrepreneurship as an essentially contested concept: Opening a new avenue for systematic future research. Journal of Business Venturing, 29(3), 363–376.

  • Cogburn, D. L., & Hine, M. (2017). Introduction to text mining in big data analytics minitrack. In Proceedings of the 50th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2017), Hilton Waikoloa Village, USA, January 4–7, 2017 (pp. 940–941).

  • Cunha, J., Benneworth, P., & Oliveira, P. (2015). Social entrepreneurship and social innovation: A conceptual distinction. In L. M. Carmo-Farinha, J. J. M. Ferreira, H. L. Smith, & S. Bagchi-Sen (Eds.), Handbook of research on global competitive advantage through innovation and entrepreneurship (pp. 616–639). IGI Global.

  • Dacin, P. A., Dacin, M. T., & Matear, M. (2010). Social entrepreneurship: Why we don’t need a new theory and how we move forward from here. Academy of Management Perspectives, 24(3), 37–57.

  • Dees, J. G. (1998). Enterprising nonprofits. Harvard Business Review, 76(1), 54–67.

  • Dees, J. G. (2001). The meaning of “social entrepreneurship” [Draft paper].

  • Dees, J., & Anderson, B. B. (2006). Framing a theory of social entrepreneurship: Building on two schools of practice and thought in research on social entrepreneurship. In Research on Social Entrepreneurship: Understanding and Contributing to an Emerging Field (pp. 39–66). Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

  • Desa, G. (2012). Resource mobilization in international social entrepreneurship: Bricolage as a mechanism of institutional transformation. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 36(4), 727-751.

  • Dhesi, A. S. (2010). Diaspora, social entrepreneurs and community development. International Journal of Social Economics, 37(9), 703–716.

  • Dillahunt, T. R., & Malone, A. R. (2015). The promise of the sharing economy among disadvantaged communities. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Seoul, Republic of Korea, April 18–23, 2015 (pp. 2285–2294).

  • Dyllick, T., & Hockerts, K. (2002). Beyond the business case for corporate sustainability. Business Strategy and the Environment, 11(2), 130–141.

  • Erickson, K., & Sørensen, I. (2016). Regulating the sharing economy. Internet Policy Review, 5(2), 1–13.

  • Estrin, S., Mickiewicz, T., & Stephan, U. (2013). Entrepreneurship, social capital, and institutions: Social and commercial entrepreneurship across nations. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 37(3), 479–504.

  • Fraiberger, S. P., & Sundararajan, A. (2015). Peer-to-peer rental markets in the sharing economy [Research Paper]. New York University, Stern School of Business.

  • Frenken, K., & Schor, J. (2017). Putting the sharing economy into perspective. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, 23, 3–10.

  • George, A. M. (2009). Identifying social entrepreneurs serving the poor at the BoP [Working Papers Series wp972]. William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

  • George, G., Merril, R. K., & Schillebeeckx, S. J. D. (2021). Digital sustainability and entrepreneurship: How digital innovations are helping tackle climate change and sustainable development, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 45(5), 999–1027.

  • Glushkov, N. A. (2018). Analiz metodov tematicheskogo modelirovaniia tekstov na estestvennom iazyke [Analysis of methods of thematic modelling of texts in natural language]. Molodoi uchenyi, 19(205), 101–103.

  • Goodland, R., & Daly, H. (1996). Environmental sustainability: universal and non-negotiable. Ecological Applications, 6(4), 1002–1017.

  • Hajli, M. (2014). Social commerce for innovation. International Journal of Innovation Management, 18(4), 145–164.

  • Hamari, J., Sjöklint, M., & Ukkonen, A. (2015). The sharing economy: Why people participate in collaborative consumption. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(9), 2047–2059.

  • Hansson, J., Lundborg, D., & Olofsson, L. (Eds.). (2014). An ecosystem for social innovation in Sweden – A strategic research and innovation agenda. Lund University.

  • Heinrichs, H. (2013). Sharing economy: A potential new pathway to sustainability. GAIA - Ecological Perspectives for Science and Society, 22(4), 228–231.

  • Igarashi, Y., & Okada, M. (2015) Social innovation through a dementia project using innovation architecture. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 97, 193–204.

  • Kanaeva, O. A. (2018). Sotsial'nye imperativy ustoichivogo razvitiia [Social imperatives of sustainable development]. Vestnik Sankt-Peterburgskogo universiteta. Ekonomika, 34(1), 26–58.

  • Klarin, T. (2018). The concept of sustainable development: from its beginning to the contemporary issues. Zagreb International Review of Economics & Business, 21(1), 67–94.

  • Korsgaard, S., Ferguson, R., & Gaddefors, J. (2015). The best of both worlds: how rural entrepreneurs use placial embeddedness and strategic networks to create opportunities. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 27(9–10), 574–598.

  • Landauer, T., Foltz, P., & Laham, D. (1998). An introduction to latent semantic analysis. Discourse Processes, 25(2–3), 259–284.

  • Madsen, H., & Ulhøi, J. P. (2015). Stakeholder pressures, environmental impact and managerial initiatives of SMEs: a longitudinal study. The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies, 14(1), 13–26.

  • Maeda, A., Araujo, E., Cashin, C., Harris, J., Ikegami, N., & Reich, M. R. (2014). Universal health coverage for inclusive and sustainable: A synthesis of 11 country case studies. The World Bank.

  • Mair, J., & Marti, I. (2006). Social entrepreneurship research: A source of explanation, prediction and delight. Journal of World Business, 41(1), 36–44.

  • Manzini, E. (2012) Design research for sustainable social innovation. In R. Michel (Ed.), Design research now: essays and selected projects (pp. 233–245). Birkhäuser.

  • Martin, C. J. (2016). The sharing economy: A pathway to sustainability or a nightmarish form of neoliberal capitalism? Ecological Economics, 121, 149–159.

  • Matzler, K., Veider, V., & Kathan, W. (2015). Adapting to the sharing economy. MIT Sloan Managment Review, 56(2), 71–77.

  • McMullen, J. S. (2011). Delineating the domain of development entrepreneurship: A market-based approach to facilitating inclusive economic growth. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 35(1), 185–215.

  • Mort, G. S., Weerawardena, J., & Carnegie, K. (2003). Social entrepreneurship: towards conceptualisation. Journal of Philanthropy and Marketing, 8(1), 76–88.

  • ODPM (Office of the Deputy Prime Minister). (2006). UK presidency: EU ministerial informal on sustainable communities policy papers.

  • Qiang, M., Bian, Z., & Liu, Y. (2016). Analysis and research of the influence of taxi subsidy scheme on urban taxi-hailing difficulties. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Education Technology, Management and Humanities Science (ETMHS 2016), Beijing, China, January 23–24, 2016 (pp. 836–841). Atlantis Press.

  • Pargman, D., Eriksson,E. & Friday, A. (2016). Limits to the sharing economy. In Proceedings of the 2nd Workshop on Computing within Limits (LIMITS '16), Irvine, CA, USA, June 9-10, 2016 (Article 12).

  • Phillips, W., Lee, H., Ghobadian, A., O’Regan, N., & James, P. (2015). Social innovation and social entrepreneurship: A systematic review. Group & Organization Management, 40(3), 428–461.

  • Phills Jr., J. A., Deiglmeier, K., & Miller, D. T. (2008). Rediscovering social innovation. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 6(4), 34–43.

  • Plewnia, F., & Guenther, E. (2018). Mapping the sharing economy for sustainability research. Management Decision, 56(3), 570–583.

  • Rahdari, A., Sepasi, S., & Moradi, M. (2017). Achieving sustainability through Schumpeterian social entrepreneurship: The role of social enterprises. Journal of Cleaner Production, 137, 347–360.

  • Ramani, S. V., SadreGhazi, S., & Gupta, S. (2017). Catalysing innovation for social impact: The role of social enterprises in the Indian sanitation sector. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 121, 216–227.

  • Ratten, V. (2018). Sport entrepreneurship: Developing and sustaining an entrepreneurial sports culture. Springer.

  • Rauniyar, G., & Kanbur, R. (2010). Inclusive development: Two papers on conceptualization, application, and the ADB perspective [Working Paper 57036]. Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.

  • Rifkin, J. (2014). The zero marginal cost society: The Internet of things, the collaborative commons, and the eclipse of capitalism. St. Martin's Griffin.

  • Robinson, J. (2006). Navigating social and institutional barriers to markets: How social entrepreneurs identify and evaluate opportunities. In J. Mair, J. Robinson, & K. Hockerts (Eds.), Social Entrepreneurship (pp. 95–120). Macmillan.

  • Santos, F. M. (2012). A positive theory of social entrepreneurship. Journal of Business Ethics, 111, 335–351.

  • Schor, J. B., & Fitzmaurice, C. J. (2015). Collaborating and connecting: the emergence of the sharing economy. In L. A. Reisch & J. Thøgersen (Eds.), Handbook of research on sustainable consumption (pp. 410–425). Edward Elgar.

  • Schumpeter, J. A. (1994). History of economic analysis. Routledge. (Originally published 1954)

  • Schwanholz, J., & Leipold, S. (2020). Sharing for a circular economy? An analysis of digital sharing platforms’ principles and business models. Journal of Cleaner Production, 269, 122327.

  • Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2004). Entrepreneurs in service of the poor: Models for business contributions to sustainable development (IESE Occasional Paper 04/16, pp. 1–9). IESE Business School, Universidad de Navarra.

  • Seelos, C., & Mair, J. (2017). Innovation and scaling for impact: How effective social enterprises do it. Stanford University Press.

  • Sharpley, R. (2000). Tourism and sustainable development: Exploring the theoretical divide. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 8(1), 1–19.

  • Sheldon, P. J., Dredge, D., & Daniele, R. (2017). Moving tourism social entrepreneurship forward: Agendas for research and education. In P. Sheldon & R. Daniele (Eds.), Social entrepreneurship and tourism. Tourism on the verge (pp. 317–332). Springer.

  • Short, J. C., Moss, T. W., & Lumpkin, G. T.(2009). Research in social entrepreneurship: past contributions and future opportunities. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, 3(2), 161–194.

  • Soubbotina, T. P. (2004). Beyond economic growth: An introduction to sustainable development (2nd ed.). Stand Alone Books.

  • Stephan, U., Uhlaner, L. M., & Stride C. (2015). Institutions and social entrepreneurship: The role of institutional voids, institutional support, and institutional configurations. Journal of International Business Studies, 46(3), 308–331.

  • Steurer, R., & Konrad, A. (2009). Business-society relations in Central-Eastern and Western Europe: How those who lead in sustainability reporting bridge the gap in corporate (social) responsibility. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 25(1), 23–36.

  • Sun, H., Mohsin, M., Alharthi, M., & Abbas, Q. (2020). Measuring environmental sustainability performance of South Asia. Journal of Cleaner Production, 251, 119519.

  • Sundararajan, A. (2013, January 03). From Zipcar to the sharing economy. Harvard Business Review.

  • Sundararajan, A. (2016). The sharing economy: The end of employment and the rise of crowd-based capitalism. MIT Press.

  • Vachon, S., & Mao, Z. (2008). Linking supply chain strength to sustainable development: a country-level analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(15), 1552–1560.

  • Veretennikova, A. Yu. (2020). Vliianie tsifrovizatsii institutsional'noi sredy na razvitie dolevoi ekonomiki [The impact of the institutional environment digitalization on the sharing economy development]. Vestnik Permskogo universiteta. Seria Ekonomika = Perm University Herald. Economy, 15(3), 329–343.

  • Wanyama, F. O. (2014). Cooperatives and the sustainable development goals: A contribution to the post-2015 development debate. International Labour Organization.

  • WCED (World Commission on Environment and Development). (1987). Our common future. Oxford University Press.

  • Williams, C. C., & Horodnic, I. A. (2017). Regulating the sharing economy to prevent the growth of the informal sector in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(9), 2261–2278.

  • Wruk, D., Oberg, A., Klutt, J., & Maurer, I. (2019). The presentation of self as good and right: How value propositions and business model features are linked in the sharing economy. Journal of Business Ethics, 159(4), 997–1021.

  • Zervas, G., Proserpio, D., & Byers, J. (2016). The rise of the sharing economy: Estimating the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry [Research Paper No. 2013-16]. Boston University School of Management.

  • Zhang, D., Morse, S., & Kambhampati, U. (2017). Sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. Routledge.

How to Cite
Popov, E., Veretennikova, A., & Kozinskaya, K. (2022). The Sharing Economy and Social Entrepreneurship for Sustainable Development. Changing Societies & Personalities, 6(1), 98–122. doi:10.15826/csp.2022.6.1.165