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Entrepreneurship, resilience and rural community branding

This project contributes towards strengthening the capacity for community entrepreneurialism as part of local economic and social development agenda in Sabah. Community entrepreneurialism is a new mechanism of generating shared values through tightly knit interaction to initiate, organize and manage businesses to help local entrepreneurs to develop and grow the community.

  • We support rural community branding through entrepreneurship
  • We work on building a resilient and sustainable communities
  • We strengthen the means of rural business implementation and revitalize the partnership for sustainable entrepreneurial community in Malaysia

This project contributes towards strengthening the capacity for community entrepreneurialism as part of local economic and social development agenda in Sabah. Community entrepreneurialism is a new mechanism of generating shared values through tightly knit interaction to initiate, organise and manage businesses to help local entrepreneurs to develop and grow the community.

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The rural entrepreneurs of Ulu Sapi, Sabah learnt and defined the right and meaningful distinctiveness: of who they are - individually and collectively as entrepreneur(s), and what they stand for. Due to financial resources limitation, these rural, poor and less educated independent palm oil smallholders who rely on their community to survive, actually neglect the importance of branding, particularly their community. The Ulu Sapi community in Sandakan, Sabah has been struggling to survive due to the fluctuation of prices in palm oil, and the lack of economic development in the area.

Through action research, we work with 12 rural smallholders of Ulu Sapi community, to help them increase their resilience and build the community brand through entrepreneurship.

The project aligns with the following Sustainability Development Goals:

  • 1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, through enhanced development cooperation, and to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions
  • 1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters
  • 17.1 Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, through international support
  • 17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Ainurul Rosli - I am a Team Coach and an Entrepreneurial Mindset Practitioner (EMP). I am an avid believer in the importance of university-industry-community interaction. I am part of Team Academy (Tiimiakatemia, Finland), a global team-learning community that aims to equip young adults with the skills, knowledge and personal qualities required to run their own businesses while pursuing a degree. I specialise in entrepreneurship, inter-firm collaboration, innovation strategy and knowledge exchange. This enables me to be part of fantastic organisations and projects that embrace collaboration and co-creation to support their innovative community engagement initiatives. Prior to joining Brunel, I was a co-Director for MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Enterprise Development at the University of Westminster. I also had worked in University of Wolverhampton and Birkbeck University of London, where I gained my PhD in 2013.  I have an MSc in Operational Research from London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and a Bachelor in Financial Engineering (Hons) from Multimedia University, Malaysia. My previous professional experience includes various entrepreneurship, strategy and innovation consulting work in London and abroad. I also have worked for several years with the R&D arm of a telecommunication company in Malaysia. I have secured major grants from Quintin Hogg Trust, European Life Long Learning Programme, British Academy of Management and British Academy/Leverhulme to name a few. I also have won several competitive awards including a grant by the Malaysian government towards my PhD research; Ronald Coase Institute Fellowship and Dynamics of Institutions and Markets (DIME) Fellowship to name a few. My work with my colleagues has won the Best Innovation paper awards at British Academy Management (BAM) 2015. 

Related Research Group(s)

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Entrepreneurship and Sustainability - Our focus is on how individuals, businesses and societies can tap into creative and entrepreneurial flair to develop innovative solutions, in order to not only create economic value, but also solve social and environmental problems.


Project last modified 05/07/2021