This video explains what happened in South Africa when we launched the Township Strategy, bringing the Amway Business Opportunity to the rural communities.
Here’s an excerpt from the report:
We used innovative strategies and alternatives to product sizing, pricing and bundling that resonated with individuals in these outlying communities. Physical presence and mobile marketing positioned the Amway Business Opportunity as viable and vital for this more financially challenged population.
In just three years, Amway South Africa has accomplished two significant results: increasing business and helping people to move up the economic ladder. Thanks to the Township Strategy, the Amway business in South Africa leapt by more than 200 percent and showed many low-to-middle class members of society a way out of poverty.
A distributor from Soweto featured in the video describes it like this: “From my personal experience, I can say that Amway is helping us to create real change in our lives, in our families, in our communities and across the world,” she said. “In previous years, Soweto was seen as nothing more than a holding area for cheap labor. … Now, Soweto is changing. And with Amway’s assistance our lives are changing. We are going up in the world.”
Watch the video to see the full story of empowerment.
Amway’s Gen Y distributor force continues to leave their distinctive mark on countries around the globe, creating a social network that is paying off – literally.
Tamsen Sala, 24, of Queensland, Australia, is a thriving entrepreneur who understands the appeal of the Amway business for her generation. “This is a very flexible business,” Tamsen said. “You can work it full time or alongside whatever else you have going on. That’s very appealing to my generation.”
Tamsen is a second-generation distributor who started her Amway business in 2007 at age 18. “I wanted the life my parents had and the life they provided me growing up,” she said.
“The business has offered me skill sets such as work ethic, discipline, people skills and goal setting. It also offers an environment of … positivity, which I haven’t seen outside the Amway business.”
The flexible business and her newly acquired skill set also helped her volunteer with a program mentoring teen girls.
“I try to be a positive role model and show them that they can be in control of their success,” she said.
Tamsen is proof positive that Amway doesn’t depend on age or education, just work ethic and determination.
“The Amway products sell themselves and really appeal to my friends,” said Tamsen. Her personal favorites? The full line of ARTISTRYTM cosmetics and XS Energy Drinks.
When Amway and Microsoft recently hosted an event celebrating and promoting women leaders in business, people took notice – including Forbes.com contributor Anne Doyle, who wrote:
“When two global corporations with the economic impact and cultural influence of Amway and Microsoft – both reach and employ millions of consumers and change agents all over the world — recognize that the women’s leadership engine is revving up and they’d better get on board, the possibilities for paradigm shifting change are enormous.”
More than 200 women attended the event, which started with a conversation between Amway managers and their Microsoft account executive about the need to better support women seeking leadership roles.
It resulted in a daylong gathering that included keynote speeches from Amway Chief Marketing Officer Candace Matthews and Microsoft Americas Premier Support Vice President Kelly Rogan, who explained why being a “street fighter” is just as important as being a great collaborator.
We can’t wait to see where this conversation leads.
Amway is in the news quite frequently, and why wouldn’t we be? We lead our industry, have inspired millions, and win quality and excellence awards on a regular basis. We’re proud of those accomplishments, to be sure, but we’re also proud of what real distributors – current and former – have shared with us about their experience with Amway.
Are there critics of Amway in the online space? Absolutely – just like any other company. We care deeply about what’s said about us, and work hard to address the complaints we receive. But given that one of our cofounders wrote a book on positivity, it’s no surprise that we like to focus on that.
Below are some things about Amway that have been shared online, from former distributors both anonymous and identified:
“I experienced a profound mental change. One moment I was an employee, and the next, I was an employee and a business owner. This was a monumental shift . . . you can read all you want about starting a business, but it’s different when you actually have your own business. . . it was something I couldn’t appreciate until I did it.”
“Amway can help you learn to lead and work with people more effectively. It can also help you overcome fears such as public speaking or even talking to people.”
“Amway provides a safe place for new business owners to grow and learn.”
“I joined Amway in 1990 and left in ‘91. I never made money in Amway, but I met some decent people who were all dreamers – it was contagious and I learned how to believe – which is 4/5 of the battle. It was one of the most memorable times in my life . . . “
“Amway was very beneficial to me and many people in my life. It is an incredible business for self-growth and I highly recommend this business vehicle to anyone who is looking for more in life.”
“The Amway company is reliable . . . If you produce ‘x’ result, you will get paid ‘x’ compensation. Always! The only variables are a) who will you be learning from; b) how well will you listen to them; and c) how much work are you willing to put in?”
“Not only do they help everyday average people open their own business, but they also help the world and local community.”
“I spent 13-15 years in Amway and gained a whole new attitude in life, which is priceless to me. I may not be building Amway now, but from the things I have learned that I have applied to my life today and also to other businesses that we are building, I became the man I am today!”
Those are just a sampling of the ratings and reviews that give all of us something to write home about!
We’ve never personally met startup evangelist and lawyer Anna Vital, but she does something we love. She creates – or sometimes, just shares - amazing infographics to help bloggers, journalists, deep thinkers, the bold, the brave and other influencers to understand the journey to becoming an entrepreneur.
Vital has worked on pieces such as ”How to Never Give Up;” “Finding Your Window of Opportunity;” and “Everyone will become an Entrepreneur.” Recently, we connected emotionally with “How Many Times Should You Try?” (Click on the image below to see the original.)
Infographic by Anna Vital, Funders and Founders
Although infographics weren’t so popular when Amway Co-Founders Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos started their first business in the mid-1940s, we know they would appreciate this one. They tried their hands at business at least seven times prior to distributing Nutrilite, the precursor to today’s Amway.
Their first venture together was a flight school called Wolverine Air Service. The second was a hamburger joint called Riverside Drive-Inn. They also started businesses renting canoes, chartering fishing trips, importing Haitian home accessories and selling wooden rocking horses and organic baked goods.
We’re glad they kept going. And in their honor, we’re always here for the millions of Amway distributors trying to build their businesses every day, too. How many times will you try?
Yesterday’s Financial Times featured this article (registration required to view in full) about Cecilia Qing Tang, one distributor who has made her way in a new country by leading and growing her Amway business.
Amway United Kingdom General Manager Andy Smith is also interviewed about the growing trend of migrants exercising their entrepreneurial spirit through direct selling.
In four years, Cecilia has defined her own success. We applaud her, along with the millions of other Amway distributors worldwide who focus their time, talents and energy on their Amway businesses.
According to AgeLab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an American turns 50 once every seven seconds. Nearly 50 percent of the European Union’s population is 65 and older; and in Thailand, the median age will be 50 by 2050.
In fact, nearly one-third of global Amway distributors were born before 1965. That’s no surprise to us, because the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College says that “olderpreneurs” have stronger networks; a higher success rate due to the knowledge and skills they’ve acquired; a strong desire for control and flexibility; and to be part of something greater than themselves.
We’re glad that Amway fits that bill, and we salute not only their success, but also, the support they give to others.
Last week, Entrepreneur.com posted “10 Questions to Ask Before Quitting Your Job to Start a Business,” designed to help readers know when the time is right to make the leap from employee to self-employed.
Of course, the author is referring to the type of entrepreneurship that many people think of when they hear that word: start-ups. But when we hear entrepreneurship, we think of the millions of Amway distributors around the world who represent and sell our products.
Entrepreneur.com suggests a self-assessment with questions like these:
• Are you miserable in your current job? They advise developing a strong business plan before jumping ship. Our advice? Yes, do that. You might also consider direct selling to test your true appetite for talking to others about your business and selling your products or ideas.
• How will you raise money to keep your business going? Most new businesses aren’t profitable right away. For start-ups, it takes an average of three to five years to benefit financially. And living without income isn’t feasible for everyone. But in direct selling, you immediately earn retail profit when you sell to a customer. You can keep it or reinvest it, whatever works for you.
• Who are your future customers? Says one expert interviewed, “If you’re not quite sure, consider pursuing your idea part time.” That’s perfect advice for any entrepreneur and direct selling fits right in.
When starting a direct selling business like Amway, some of these questions apply. But some don’t – and that’s the beauty of it.
Image courtesy of this video on female entrepreneurship published by The European Direct Selling Association (SELDIA).
Amway President Doug DeVos, in the April 2013 edition of Harvard Business Review, shares the lessons Amway learned working through China’s direct selling ban in the 1990s.
“The idea that direct selling could be outlawed was incomprehensible to us. This method of marketing was the foundation of Amway’s business—it had been tested and proved over time and across borders. And now it appeared that we could be put out of business, despite our commitment to and investment in our China operation,” he writes in Harvard Business Review.
In “Amway’s President on Reinventing the Business to Succeed in China,” Doug describes how Amway worked with government officials to create strong direct selling legislation and made significant changes to the way it did business in China, such as opening stores. Doug details four key lessons – understand the market, stay true to your mission, build strong, trusting relationships and take a long-term view – that helped Amway become the industry leader in China.
Doug’s column also appears in the China edition of Harvard Business Review in April, along with a story about Amway China’s innovation and growth strategies.
Disclaimer: The authors of these blogs are Amway employees. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily reviewed in advance by anyone but the individual author. These opinions do not necessarily reflect the view of Amway or any other person or company.