The purpose of this paper is to examine the factors which motivate women's informal micro‐entrepreneurship in Malaysia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Franck, A. (2012), "Factors motivating women's informal micro‐entrepreneurship: Experiences from Penang, Malaysia", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 65-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/17566261211202981Download as .RIS
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