The International Conference on Rural Development and Entrepreneurship (ICORE) is a conference organised by School of Economics, Finance and Banking, College of Business, Universiti Utara Malaysia once every two years. The conference is co-organised with Hebei University and Universitas Jenderal Soedirman. The main focus of the conference is on rural development and entrepreneurship. It includes economic development, rural tourism and environmental issues, social and information and communications technology (ICT) developments. The first conference was held in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia in May 2011, while the second conference was held in Purwokerto, Central Java, Indonesia in November 2013. The third conference was held in Hebei University, Baoding, China, in May 2015. The fourth conference was held in Kedah, Malaysia in November 2017. The conferences have an impressive record of attendance. They have attracted numerous international presenters and participants. The attendees have benefited enormously from the lively discussion and presentations sections conducted during the conference. Many ideas have been shared and brainstormed in the conferences.
In general, entrepreneurship can be defined as the process of creation of value. This consists of the realisation of opportunity, acquiring resources and the implementation of new things, such as introducing new products and launching new businesses. Entrepreneurship appears to have several different stages. It starts with creativity, innovation and technology. Then, new methods to handle production are discovered, which will result in ‘growth’. In spite of today’s rapidly urbanising and industrialising society, there are almost half of the world population reside in rural areas. The majority of this population rely heavily on agriculture sectors. Among the main problems occur in rural areas are poor income sources, lack of job opportunity and low technology of productions. The jobs created from tourism and other service sectors for rural dwellers are often limited and temporary. Worse still, the involvement of manufacturing sector in rural areas is also not promising. Rural development is often constrained by numerous factors, such as unfamiliarity with modern technology, lack of opportunity for networking and difficulties in accessing capital. There are evidences suggesting that firms in rural areas are not innovative and unwilling to adopt new technology.
In light of the fact that adoption of new technologies is the factor that causes economic advancement, promotion of entrepreneurship may seem effective in encouraging rural development. This is to increase the opportunities for income and employment, thus resulting in economic growth. The main objective of this conference is to formulate effective solutions to rural development through the promotion of such entrepreneurship. Nevertheless, this conference will serve as a platform for the participants to exchange their ideas and experiences in developing rural areas.