Title: 'Just sisters doing business between us': gender, social entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial resilience in rural Malaysia

Authors: Airil Haimi Mohd Adnan; Riza Emifazura Jaafar; Zarul Azhar Nasir; Nor Marini Mohtar

Addresses: Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Seri Iskandar Campus, 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia ' Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Tapah Campus, 35400 Tapah Road, Perak, Malaysia ' Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Tapah Campus, 35400 Tapah Road, Perak, Malaysia ' Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM), Seri Iskandar Campus 32610 Bandar Seri Iskandar, Perak, Malaysia

Abstract: As part of a large-scale effort to examine the effectiveness of the Malaysian '1Azam' (literally '1Resolution') poverty reduction and eradication program through entrepreneurship education and support, this paper centres on Sabah, on the island of Borneo (also considered one of the poorest states in Malaysia). Our focus is an 'informal rural social cooperative' of more than 20 women entrepreneurs led by 48 years old homemaker turned entrepreneur 'Annie'. Employing a broad narratological framework to collect and analyse stories of lived experiences, we built a large textual data record of 'Annie's Co-op' for a period of 12 months. The 'thick' findings indicate that within their rural business venture, the participants play important roles as breadwinners for their families and as social entrepreneurs for their community; acting as one unit they demonstrate not just strategies of resilience but also a spirit of social duty despite barriers and challenges to their entrepreneurialism.

Keywords: gender; women entrepreneurs; female entrepreneurs; social entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial resilience; entrepreneurship education; poverty; rural communities; Borneo; Malaysia; narratology; thick data; entrepreneurial support; informal cooperatives; family breadwinner.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2016.073992

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2016 Vol.27 No.2/3, pp.273 - 288

Available online: 26 Dec 2015 *

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