Implications of ICT for Development on Enhancing Rural Entrepreneur Program (REP) at Telecentres in Malaysia

  • Marhaini Mohd Noor Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
  • Noreha Hashim Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
  • Rahaya Md. Jamin Universiti Malaysia Terengganu


This paper examines rural social entrepreneurship program in rural Malaysia communities. The program seeks to promote and turn rural entrepreneurs into social entrepreneurs by strengthening their economic activities and enhancing social capital. This paper focuses on a component of the rural entrepreneur program (REP), namely the Social Entrepreneur Club (SEC). The club runs the rural entrepreneur program and upholds the program’s objectives. It promotes the socialization of rural communities by engaging them in entrepreneurial activities. The club operates under the Rural Internet Centre (RIC); a telecentre that provides space for rural communities to enhance their ICT knowledge and skills. However, despite the opportunity provided, some of the rural entrepreneurs do not show adequate interest in the program as they prefer being entrepreneurs, but not social entrepreneurs. Thus, the success of the SECs depends on the entrepreneurs’ participation in the program, the geographical locations and the support from the telecentre managers. This paper employs the economic gardening concept and community informatics approach to empirically gather evidence to test the theory on ICT for development; particularly rural development for rural communities. A quantitative method has been used to measure the implications of ICT in this program. Data from the entrepreneurs is obtained through an online survey which has been conducted across the varying regions in Malaysia. The quantitative data is supported by interviews (qualitative method) with telecentre managers. The primary data has been triangulated to analyze the results. The key findings show that the SEC is seen as economic development strategy by creating jobs, as well as increasing income and business opportunities. It also strengthens social networking needed to build social capital within and outside of the rural communities. Hence SEC is also a community connector and can be used as an indicator on the quality of rural communities’ wellbeing.

How to Cite
Marhaini Mohd Noor, Noreha Hashim, & Rahaya Md. Jamin. (2020). Implications of ICT for Development on Enhancing Rural Entrepreneur Program (REP) at Telecentres in Malaysia. International Journal of Business and Society, 21(2), 629-642.