The Transition from Corporate Careers to Business Ownership: The Case for Women Entrepreneurs in Malaysia

by Prof. Dr. Siri Roland Xavier , Prof. Syed Zamberi , Suganthi Perumal , Dr. Leilanie Mohd Nor and Jagadesan Chandra Mohan .

International Journal of Business Administration, (2011), Vol. 2, No. 3, Pages 148


This study aimed to explore some features regarding corporate women and their involvement in entrepreneurship. The questions explored were (1) What are the factors that spur women leaving the corporate world into business ownership; (2) What are their personal and entrepreneurial characteristics and (3) What are the challenges and problems they are facing?

The study used a convenience sample comprising 51 women entrepreneurs. A self administered questionnaire was distributed by email and via fax. As for the findings, the main factors identified to have spurred women leaving the corporate world into business ownership were needed to achieve personal growth, independence and economic payoff. Passion for the business, listening and communication skills and self discipline are among the most possessed personal skills. The prime entrepreneurial skills that were indicated strongly include showing confidence, leadership skills, creative thinking in problem solving, being efficient and effective in executing plans, entrepreneurial/business knowledge, being analytical, balancing skills between personal and business life, and flexibility i.e. ability to change.

The challenges /problems faced by the respondents are shortage of professional staffs, shortage of staffs, issues of development and growth, financial constraint due to heavy overheads and less consultation help from experts. There were no significant differences were found in most of entrepreneurial characteristics among the major ethnic groups. The study recommends further research that may capture more and richer aspects of women’s entrepreneurship.

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