Profiles and Innovative Tendency of Malay Entrepreneurs: Inheritors versus Initiators
NIK RAHIMAH NIK-YACOB
This chapter addresses the issue of whether inheritors are any less entrepreneurial than initiators of businesses among the Malays of Peninsular Malaysia. Similarities and differences between these two types of entrepreneurs were examined in terms of their background profile and their innovative tendency. Based on the survey data of 488 Malay entrepreneurs, it was found that inheritors and initiators tend to have many aspects in common, especially their individual profiles, innovative tendency and business perception. However, they differ sufficiently from others in their work experience, amount of paid-up capital and net profits that a separate classification of entrepreneurship is merited for inheritors and initiators.
Entrepreneurship is widely defined as "the process of starting and/or growing a new profit-making business" ( Bird, 1989: 4). Based on this definition, entrepreneurial talent is assumed to be manifested in the ability to initiate a new profit-making business. However, many businesspersons do not start a new business but sometimes inherit an existing one and are able to turn the business around to a new height of glory. Are these inheritors any less entrepreneurial than the initiators?
This chapter examines the similarities and differences in the background profile of inheritors and initiators. The similarities and differences are indicative of the challenges and entrepreneurial events and processes that each group faces as entrepreneurs. This chapter also examines the innovative tendency of the inheritors in comparison with the initiators to determine whether the inheritors have indeed displayed this important facet of entrepreneurial behavior.