Relevant literature on entrepreneurs’ information needs stated the needed information of entrepreneurs included financing choices, business planning, information that was specific to Aboriginal business, accounting and financial management, information about government programmes, markets and marketing (Vodden, et al, 2001); information on business and marketing partners, technology providers, public incentives bodies, procurement and marketing opportunities, markets for products or goods, and services and research information (Lavrin & Zelko, 2003); and external financing, trained personnel, management training, source of skilled personnel, information that would lead to increased sales, existing customers, land or property, laws and regulations (Heeks, 1999).
Information is a crucial in gaining a sustainable, competitive advantage for modern business enterprises (Shokane, 2003). In a study by Okello-Obura et al. (2007), they noted that it was important to decide business information needs as part of a need to design an information system.
Empirical research showed a great reliance of entrepreneurs on their personal networks in venture growth. A very high preference was given to personal contacts as a source of reference (de Alwis & Higgins, 2001). Dodd (1997) found that entrepreneurs spent a significant amount of time developing and maintaining contacts and talking to other people about business.
According to several literatures, entrepreneurs have particular personality traits, socioeconomic characteristics, and particular nature of business enterprise and enterprise development (Bolton & Thompson, 2004; Bird, 1989; Bjerke, 2007; Shane, 2003; McClelland, 1961; Maimunah Ismail, 2001; Noor Rahamah Hj. Abu Bakar et al., 2007, Chan Kim Ling et al., 2006; Md Nor Othman et al., 2005).
Youths argued to have some characteristics similar to the ones had by adult and matured entrepreneurs (Chigunta, 2001; Schoof, 2006). The identified characteristics are said to distinguish the entrepreneurs from non-entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurship in the Malaysian perspective is the ability to create and build something from nothing (innovator), introducing, doing, achieving and building an organisation or enterprise (opportunities creator) and taking calculated risk (Mohamed, 2009).
In Malaysia, youth engagement in self-employment or entrepreneurship, not as high as one would expect. Prominent governmental actors such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Malaysia, National Youths and Sports Department, MARA (Majlis Amanah Rakyat), SEDC (State’s Economy Development Corporation) organise various programmes, training, research and other activities pertaining to youth development which the objective of youth development programmes are to produce a youth population that is capable in the areas of skills, entrepreneurship and leadership.
Youth participation is a critical driver of the nation’s growth as a key source of capable talent to support the human capital needs of the economy. The youth population comprises those in the 15- 40 age group, which has grown from 11.1 million in 2005 to 11.9 million in 2009 making up 41.5% of the population. In 2009, the number of youth employed stood at 7.1 million (Tenth Malaysia Plan, 2010).
The government also organises entrepreneurship programme in schools, public universities and through various public youth organisations aim to cultivate entrepreneurship potentials among the young people (Ninth Malaysia Plan, 2006).
These initiatives are strengthen in the Tenth Malaysia Plan. To spur the number of business start-ups and encourage a culture of entrepreneurship in Malaysia, the Government will strengthen the SME-University Internship Programme.
Under this programme, university students with specific skills assigned to a business for two to three months to gain work experience and to update knowledge of business practices.
The Government will also promote entrepreneurship to young Malaysians by sponsoring business plan competitions at schools and universities, introducing business-related curricula, and funding public campaigns that showcase successful Malaysian entrepreneurs.
The target is to see 2,000 new businesses launched by students and graduates by the end of the Plan period.