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Social entrepreneurship among participants in the students in free enterprise program

Norasmah Othman (Faculty of Education, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi, Malaysia)
Hariyaty Ab Wahid (Faculty of Management and Economics, Universiti Pendidikan Tanjong Malim, Tanjong Malim, Malaysia)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to identify social entrepreneurship dimensions that emphasize the specific personal characteristics of social entrepreneurs (SPCSE) and social entrepreneurship organization (SEO) among students in higher education institutions who are active participants of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) program in Malaysia.


Quantitative approaches and instruments were used to analyze the profile of social entrepreneurship in this cross-sectional survey study, which involved 394 active SIFE students in Malaysia in 2011. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze the data and describe the SIFE student's SPCSE and SEO.


The social entrepreneurship of the SIFE students was high, with a dominant SEO. However, the dimensions of SPCSE need to be applied effectively to the students involved, whose social entrepreneurship was merely moderate. There was a strong positive relationship between SPCSE and SEO of SIFE students, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.73.

Research limitations/implications

It is recommended that further longitudinal research be conducted to assess the depth of the impact of social entrepreneurship on SIFE students. In this manner, more useful information related to the impact can be leveraged to improve the pattern of the social entrepreneurship program.

Practical implications

The SIFE participants’ social entrepreneurship profile can be used by the Ministry of Higher Education in formulating social entrepreneurship policy for higher education institutions. The Malaysia SIFE Foundation and the administrators of higher education institutions should encourage more university students to participate in SIFE program to increase the number of social entrepreneurs who will help solve social, economic, and environmental problems.


There has been no discussions of the social entrepreneurship programs in Malaysia. This paper attempts to fill the current gap.



The authors are grateful to the Ministry of Higher Education (FRGS/1/2011/SSI/UKM/02/10) as well as to the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia for financial and moral supports.


Othman, N. and Ab Wahid, H. (2014), "Social entrepreneurship among participants in the students in free enterprise program", Education + Training, Vol. 56 No. 8/9, pp. 852-869.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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