Enhancing Women Entrepreneurship Development Framework: Policy & Institution Gap and Challenges in the Case of Malaysia

Aini Suzana Ariffin, Shadiya Mohamed Saleh Baqutayan, Akbariah Mohd Mahdzir


This study emphasizes that, in developing countries, the subject of women entrepreneurship development, particularly at the grassroots level, has been largely ignored both by the government and in society. Most women entrepreneurs in rural areas are very informal, unregistered, unorganized and are generally less supported and empowered. Therefore, the majority of them face problems such as lack of access to capital, entrepreneurship and business skills, bargaining power within the market and lack of inclusiveness on major decisions to entrepreneurship development. Although there exist many efforts to improve entrepreneurship development among them by both government and non-government actors, the problem remains. This paper extensively reviews the literature and government reports in the context of Malaysia. Based on prior work done by scholars, only a few studies addressed the formation and implementation of the SME policy on women entrepreneurs. In Malaysia, there is no specific policy to address grassroots women entrepreneurship, as a result of poor and weak institutions, and poor interventions and supporting programs. However, this is currently under the purview of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (MWFCD) and SME Corporation Malaysia. It is suggested that the establishment of policy interventions and affirmative programs to support grassroots women entrepreneurs is increasingly important and necessary, particularly in assisting the unemployment issues and poverty reduction initiatives among poor grassroots. There is a need for a new strategic framework to support grassroots women entrepreneur development and sustainability.


Women entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurship development; SME; Entrepreneurship framework

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