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Towards strengthening the development of women entrepreneurship in Malaysia

Wendy Ming Yen Teoh (Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)
Siong Choy Chong (Finance Accreditation Agency, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 30 September 2014




This paper aims to identify developmental issues associated with women entrepreneurship, with the Malaysian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as a base. Subsequently, the paper also aims to devise certain stratagems and new policies for ensuring women entrepreneurial growth.


An overview of the issues surrounding women entrepreneurship development in Malaysia is provided, drawing on the extant literature. The issues comprise cultural barriers, lack of spousal support, gender inequality, lack of confidence, weak social and business networking, few laws to support working families and neglected women entrepreneurs in the cottage industry, as well as domestic help and home-based childcare.


Based on the issues identified, strategies are proposed to address them, contextualising on the gender aspect of women entrepreneurship.

Practical implications

A summary is provided on the research and practical gaps from the perspective of strengthening women entrepreneurship and with the aim of encouraging further research in this area. The paper posits that an understanding of the gender aspect on issues related to the development of women entrepreneurship in Malaysia is required if policy measures are to be constructive in assisting women entrepreneurs in achieving their full entrepreneurial potential.


Very limited studies have been undertaken in the past to assess the issues faced by women entrepreneurs in the context of overall development of women entrepreneurship. This is of great value to an SME-dominated economy such as Malaysia where the paper provides a comprehensive summary of the strategies and policy measures required to strengthen women entrepreneurship development.



Ming Yen Teoh, W. and Choy Chong, S. (2014), "Towards strengthening the development of women entrepreneurship in Malaysia", Gender in Management, Vol. 29 No. 7, pp. 432-453.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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