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Thirunaukarasu Subramaniam


The first goal of the United Nations Millennium Development Goal is ‘to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’. One of the targets in reaching this goal is to ‘achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people.’ In relation to this, this study aims to investigate the involvement of the youth in microenterprises in Malaysia. Primary data was collected through personal interviews conducted with members of the youth who operate microenterprises. Data collected from these interviews is used as the main tool of analysis. At the same time, this information is used to enrich and facilitate the study’s overall analysis. Several key findings can be derived from this study. Firstly, it reveals that most of the informants do not rely on government or financial institutions for financial assistance to start a business. Instead, they are found to seek help from close family members especially their parents. Secondly, this study reveals that the main motivators for the youth to be involved in business are close family members especially their parents. In addition, these industrious youth were found to have a strong desire to have their own businesses. Thirdly, this study highlights that the major obstacles faced by these enterprising youth is related to investment in human capital: the fact that the education they received is not related to entrepreneurship and that they lack marketing and management skills. Finally, involvement in microenterprises helps the enterprising youth create employment for themselves as well as for others. Microenterprises provide young and budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to be involved in entrepreneurships that require less financial commitment. This is important as these young entrepreneurs are highly risk averse. They are more interested to be involved in businesses whose failure rates are low. The potential of microenterprises in employment creation is also crucial. These young entrepreneurs are able to create employment not only for themselves but also for others, especially for their immediate family members and friends. Microenterprises should thus be seen as additional channels on how the problem of unemployment among the youth can be reduced. In conclusion, microenterprises are important in creating employment and entrepreneurial talent among the Malaysian youth.

Keywords: microenterprises, youth, employment creation, Malaysia


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