Online from: 2009
Subject Area: Enterprise and Innovation
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|Title:||Factors motivating women's informal micro-entrepreneurship: Experiences from Penang, Malaysia|
|Author(s):||Anja K. Franck, (Department of Human and Economic Geography, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden)|
|Citation:||Anja K. Franck, (2012) "Factors motivating women's informal micro-entrepreneurship: Experiences from Penang, Malaysia", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 4 Iss: 1, pp.65 - 78|
|Keywords:||Entrepreneurialism, Informal economy, Malaysia, Micro businesses, Microeconomics, Women, Women's entrepreneurship|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/17566261211202981 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors which motivate women's informal micro-entrepreneurship in Malaysia.
Design/methodology/approach – The qualitative analysis employed in this paper is based upon empirical findings from field work conducted in the state of Penang on the north-western coast of Peninsular Malaysia. In total, 39 hawkers (petty traders) were interviewed using an interview guide which contained open-ended questions regarding work-life history, labor market choices and conditions of work. The paper presents two selected case stories, as well as the general findings across the whole sample.
Findings – In contrast to the view that women's informal micro-entrepreneurship is motivated only by “involuntary exclusion from the labor market” or “poverty”, this paper has found that women's micro-entrepreneurship can be motivated by a wide range of factors including: to earn an income; interest in doing business; increased flexibility and autonomy; possibility to combine with family obligations; and re-negotiating spatial practices. Conclusive with previous studies it also argues that necessity and choice may be “co-present” in the motives to enter into entrepreneurship.
Research limitations/implications – The limited sample of this study has implications for the generalizability of results. Further studies into the women's micro-entrepreneurial activities in Malaysia are therefore encouraged.
Social implications – Women's micro-entrepreneurship is increasingly being promoted as a way to create growth and development (particularly through micro-credit schemes). Increasing knowledge around motivational factors, performance and conditions of work for women informal micro-entrepreneurs is therefore important when trying to establish appropriate policies.
Originality/value – There are very few studies in the Malaysian context which focus upon women's informal micro-entrepreneurship in general and hawking in particular. This study therefore presents new knowledge around women's informal micro-entrepreneurship in Malaysia.
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