Developing Pre-Retiree Intent-Entrepreneurship Learning to New Normal Entrepreneurial Initiatives
The significant contribution of entrepreneurship towards the economic development and wealth creation of a nation is undeniable. Invariably so, the Government of Malaysia has been promoting entrepreneurship to encourage Malaysians to venture into the business world. A significant part of this effort is manifested in the existence of numerous small medium industries throughout the country, following the implementation of policy imperatives such as the past New Economic Policy (NEP) and other government-aided menu of entrepreneurship programs that include a horde of petty-trading hawkers and novice ‘entrepreneurs’ competing to survive and grow their variety of new or reinvented initiatives. However, the focus mainly has been on younger Malaysians who are job-seeking and unemployed graduates and women, particularly in the Bumiputera community to correct the so-called race-based inequitable distribution of economic wealth and gender-based imbalance of job-business opportunities. The senior citizens particularly the pre-retiree cohort of Malaysians has been overlooked and neglected despite the work knowledge and life experiences they have undergone. Studies focusing on this group of people have reached different conclusions about them but there is a general consensus that this senior cohort (referred here as “pre-retirees”) has various age-related advantages to initiate new start-up ventures. This study raises an urgent need to investigate what and how pre-retirees with intent-entrepreneurship orientation can be encouraged to develop their potential and contribute to value-adding initiatives that can develop and grow into value-creating enterprises for both individual welfare sustainability and national understand of the determinants that influence the senior cohort’s entrepreneurial intention is economic wealth development too. To promote senior entrepreneurship in Malaysia therefore this study examines the relationship between Individual Entrepreneurial Orientation (IEO) and Entrepreneurial Intention (EI) among Malaysian pre-retirees between 45 to 59 years old in the State of Selangor and the Federal Territory (Wilayah Persekutuan) Kuala Lumpur. In addition, a comparison insight into ethnic-bias intent is conducted to assess its influence on the variable-dimensions of IEO: risk taking, innovativeness and proactive readiness. A total of 596 samples, using purposive sampling, has revealed that there is a significant positive relationship between IEO and entrepreneurial intention and, among others, the ethnic-bias differences found highlighted the values of ‘innovativeness’ and ‘proactive readiness’ but not ‘risk taking’. It is therefore suggested, more so now in the context of learning curve during the new normal of COVID-19 pandemic era, that various supporting mechanisms by the government and volunteer-aided organizations be specially designed and customized to tap the potentials of intent entrepreneurship-driven pre-retirees who represent a mature-experience cohort of human capital whose talent would otherwise would be wasteful resources. In other words, by promoting, encouraging and nurturing a shorter gestation period of senior entrepreneurship, it not only helps Malaysian citizens to achieve a sustainable useful retirement life but, in turn, this will also generate positive country impact on new vistas of economic development and national prosperity.