Government intervention in women entrepreneurship development: opportunities and challenges for Bumiputera women entrepreneurs (BWEs) in the handicraft industry in Malaysia

Topimin, S, 2015. Government intervention in women entrepreneurship development: opportunities and challenges for Bumiputera women entrepreneurs (BWEs) in the handicraft industry in Malaysia. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

This study provides insights into the influences of government intervention on the business survival of Bumiputera women entrepreneurs in the handicraft industry in Malaysia in which Bumiputera refers to the indigenous people and the largest population group in the country. The Malaysian handicraft industry is largely made up of Bumiputera women entrepreneurs (BWEs). While very little is known about how BWEs in the handicraft industry in Malaysia manage the survival of their businesses, the impact of the government’s initiatives on BWEs’ business survival process remains largely unexplored. To explore these arguments, this study investigates the business survival experiences of BWEs in the handicraft industry in Sabah, Malaysia: the leading state in the country in terms of handicraft producers. This study adopts an interpretative approach and uses semi-structured interviews as the main data collection technique in exploring the perceptions and views of 21 BWEs and five government officials (GOs) on government entrepreneurial support programmes (GESPs). All interviews were recorded but with participant’s permission. Two additional data collection methods: documentary analysis and observations were utilised; thus, improving the triangulation of the findings. The findings show that BWEs’ business survival is a complex process that is influenced by endogenous and exogenous factors which stem from three different aspects: personal, organisational and institutional. While endogenous factors relate to BWEs’ personal and organisational aspects, exogenous factors refer to four institutional environments: family, social, political and GESPs. The important dimensions that emerged are the significance of the collectivist culture of Malaysia in influencing BWEs’ business survival and the political privileges that influence BWEs’ access to GESPs. This study revealed that government organisations appear to be the dominant source of external support for BWEs in the handicraft industry in Malaysia. However, the way the GESPs are designed, implemented and evaluated do not reflect the business needs of BWEs. This study adds to the body of knowledge on women’s business survival by providing empirical evidence from a Malaysian perspective. The findings demonstrate how the Malaysian collectivist culture is relevant in minimising BWEs’ patriarchal pressures, thus bringing further insights to the gender and women’s entrepreneurship literature. Finally, this study highlights the significance of the political privileges that hinder BWEs access to GESPs whilst also encouraging the establishment of women-only entrepreneurial support programmes, contributing to the literature on institutional influences on women’s entrepreneurship research.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Topimin, S.
Date: November 2015
Rights: This work is the intellectual property of the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 26 May 2016 10:52
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 10:52
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/27893

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