Women’s share in the business sector in Malaysia and Indonesia lags behind their male counterpart. However, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) could serve as a game changer to empower women startup and entrepreneurs. The acceptance and usage of Mobile ICT in business operations could empower more women-led Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to grow and fulfill customer needs and wants. However, there is a lack of established models to measure mobile ICT’s role in women MSMEs in these developing countries. Through the review of policy papers and relevant literatures, this study presents a framework to assess the adoption of Mobile ICT in women-led MSMEs factoring cross-border networking. Building upon Social Network Theory and Technology Acceptance Model, this study presents a framework and discusses recommendations for further action to empower women-led MSMEs in both countries by leveraging on cross-border networking capabilities between Indonesian and Malaysian women-led MSMEs. This study highlights the strength of international and cross-border networking among women startup and entrepreneurs where mentoring could happen to empower women startups and entrepreneurs.


Keywords: Mobile ICT usage, women empowerment, MSMEs development, workforce digitization, cross-border entrepreneurship, social network theory, startups.


Cite as: Tanti, D. S., Nathan, R. J., Sulistyo, P. B., Soekmawati, Hanim, F., & Sarjuni, V. (2021). Empowering cross-border women entrepreneurs via mobile ICT: Framework for Malaysian and Indonesian women-led MSMEs.  Journal of Nusantara Studies, 6(2), 340-357. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp340-357

Author Biographies

Dewi Sad Tanti, Faculty of Communications Studies, University Mercu Buana, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ms Dewi Sad Tanti (dewi.tanti@mercubuana.ac.id) is a Lecturer at the Faculty of Communication at the Mercu Buana University, Indonesia. She specialises in marketing communication research and is a member of the Indonesian Advertising Council (IAC), and a member of Asosiasi Pendidikan Tinggi Ilmu Komunikasi (ASPIKOM JABODETABEK) Indonesia. Dewi is a certified communication assessor of the Indonesian Professional Certification Authority.  She conducts training on promotion and media publications for community services, MSMEs and government bodies. Her research interests include media studies; consumer behavior; ICT and developmental communication.

Robert Jeyakumar Nathan, Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia.

Dr Robert Jeyakumar Nathan is the Deputy Director at the Center for Lifelong Learning and Learning Innovation. He is the Head of Academic Innovation and Product Intelligence at the Multimedia University, Malaysia. He works in teams for data analytics to facilitate decision making and teaches marketing modules. He conducts design thinking and innovation training for academics and corporations. His research interests include Technology and Innovation; Leadership; Sustainability, Multicultural Studies and Financial Technologies. 

Ponco Budi Sulistyo, Faculty of Communications Studies, University Mercu Buana, Jakarta, Indonesia.

Dr Ponco Budi Sulistyo (ponco_budi@mercubuana.ac.id) is a lecturer at the Faculty of Communication, Universitas Mercu Buana, Jakarta, Indonesia. He is a competency assessor on communication (television production assistant) of the National Professional Certification Board (BNSP) of the Republic of Indonesia under Professional Certification Institution (LSP) P1 of the Universitas Mercu Buana. His research interests include media studies, discourse analysis and digital media literacy.

Soekmawati, 5 Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia.

Ms Soekmawati (soekma_wt@yahoo.com) holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting (Hons) and Masters of Philosophy (Management) from the Multimedia University, Malaysia. She was formerly a Programme Officer at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY). She worked in liaison with various international organisations, governmental bodies and UN agencies to direct events and programmes pertaining to youth. Her research interests are in Marketing, Exercise Psychology, Youth Empowerment and Sustainability

Farah Hanim, Faculty of Business, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia.

Ms Farah Hanim (farah25ia@gmail.com) received her Bachelors in Business Administration (Hons.) International Business from the Multimedia University; and Masters of International Relations and Diplomacy from the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Malaysia. Currently she is pursuing her PhD at the Multimedia University, Malaysia. She is the co-founders and growth officer of Be My Protector (BMP), a non-governmental organization aiming to stop trafficking of children by creating community intelligence, raising awareness and empowering community members to act against child trafficking. Her research interests include Marketing, Digital Technology, E-Business, Transnational Organized Crime, Politics and Diplomacy.

Viviantie Sarjuni, Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre, Sabah, Malaysia.

Ms Viviantie Sarjuni (Viviantie.Sarjuni@gmail.com) is currently leading the Sabah Creative Economy and Innovation Centre as the General Manager pushing for the agenda of innovation, technology and creativity. She was formerly a Programme Manager at the MaGIC Academy in Cyberjaya, Malaysia and was responsible in the planning of entrepreneurship and community building programmes. She has broad background in entrepreneurship and startups, specializing in education, community and capacity building.


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How to Cite
Tanti, D. S., Nathan, R. J., Sulistyo, P. B., Soekmawati, Hanim, F., & Sarjuni, V. (2021). EMPOWERING CROSS-BORDER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS VIA MOBILE ICT: FRAMEWORK FOR MALAYSIAN AND INDONESIAN WOMEN-LED MSMES. Journal of Nusantara Studies (JONUS), 6(2), 340-357. https://doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol6iss2pp340-357