Malay Entrepreneurs’ Narrative of a Social Network through the Phenomenological Approach

Mohd Hadri Mohd Rifin, Novel Lyndon, Azlina Abdullah, Usman Ibrahim Dabai, Awang Azman Bin Awang Pawi


Social network relationships in the field of entrepreneurship are a form of social relationships between entrepreneurs and social network actors formed through social interaction. This study aims to identify the type of social network possessed by Malay entrepreneurs and the benefits of each actor’s social network. This study employs a qualitative approach using interviews with 20 respondents representing small and medium Malaysentrepreneurs opening businesses in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia. The selection of respondents for the study used the purposive sampling method. The main characteristics of the selection of participants are small and medium entrepreneurs (SME) who have annual sales of over MYR300, 000 or have at least five employees. Qualitative data analysis is thematic using the ATLAS.ti software. The results of the study found that social networks through strong and weak affiliations play an important role in business survival. Networking, regardless of whether they are strong or weak, can help Malays’ small and medium entrepreneurs acquire raw material resources, financial assistance, business information, market strategy, guidance, and advice needed in their business survival.  In conclusion, social networking as an embedded social structure of social processes helps to maintain business survival and to compete in the market. The study shows that Malays’ small and medium entrepreneurs need to build a social network through integration with the business community and social institutions. Apart from that, the government should also review its entrepreneurship policy by paying attention to the needs of small and medium businesses.


Keywords: Malay entrepreneurs, social network, strength of ties, small and medium entrepreneurs.



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