Exploring the Understanding, Role and Participation of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on Digital Economy in Malaysia

Maya Puspa Rahman, Nurfatihah Senusi
Department of Economics, Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia


This study explores the understanding, role and participation of the SMEs on digital economy, in line with the aspiration by the Malaysian government to have higher growth contribution coming from this segment. The primary data is collected from a semi-structured interview with six SMEs around Klang Valley from various industries and the analysis is conducted using coding and thematic analysis. Most of the SMEs interviewed are aware on the importance of online presence but lack the understanding on its contribution towards digital economy. While a high number of them are ready to embrace technology driven tools for sales, several others are still quite skeptical and facing difficulties in related cost management. This paper aims to offer specific insights from the SMEs on digital economy and the Malaysia’s move towards adopting the relevance of the fourth industrial revolution. It also identifies some of the issues to be tackled by the government in order to have more SMEs participation in the Malaysian digital economy.

Keywords: Digital economy, SMEs, Thematic analysis, Malaysia