Melissophobia is the fear of bees; blennophobia is the fear of slime; and chorophobia is the fear of dancing. In fact, from A to Z, clinical names for numerous fears exist.
In the 2010-2012 editions of Amway’s Entrepreneurship Report, the “fear of failure” was consistently among the highest obstacles to becoming self-employed. We believe this fear leads to a high gap between people who can imagine starting their own business and those who actually do.
So in our 2013 report, we took a closer look. We wanted to know: Did the fear exist because people did not believe in their abilities, their networks and ideas? Or because they did not feel supported by their environment?
Among the polled countries worldwide, 41 percent of respondents feared “financial burdens up to bankruptcy.” For 31 percent, “the economic crisis” turned out to be a considerable obstacle (even truer in the European Union). Non-financial fears included disappointing one’s family, loss of reputation, and and not being unable to handle the high level of responsibility.
The percentage of respondents who are fearful of starting an enterprise is represented below for six of the 24 countries studied.
These fears may not have clinical names, but at Amway we seek to “treat” them with a business model that is low-risk, low-cost and has built-in mentorship and support. And fear not, if it doesn’t meet a person’s expectations, it has a money-back guarantee.
More than two thirds (69%) of respondents in Greece have a positive attitude toward self-employment, with extremely positive attitudes coming from respondents under the age of 30 (79%) and students (86%).
More than half (53%) of respondents can imagine starting their own business – a tiny change from 2012 and proof positive that Greece has great entrepreneurial will.
To 44% of respondents from Greece, “making a return to the job market” is an extremely appealing motivator for starting a business, likely due to rising unemployment there.
That said, what concerns us greatly is that 85% of respondents in Greece, and 90% of females, see the fear of failing with an enterprise as an obstacle to starting a business. This is 15% more than the worldwide average.
Where Greece makes a statistical and impressive rebound is that it believes its society to be significantly more entrepreneurship-friendly than other countries categorized as crisis-struck, such as Hungary, Romania, Portugal and Spain.
The way they feel could likely be summed up in this man-on-the-street interview: “We are strongly connected to our place . . . and we still think we are the best in the world.”
With a will like that, we look forward to the results from next year’s Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.
In 24 countries and from 26,000 people, Amway recently sought opinions on the attitudes, concerns and desires of would-be entrepreneurs.
Titled the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, the study provides an up-to-date view on self-employment potential and obstacles hindering entrepreneurial activities in Australia, Austria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
The good news:
More than two-thirds of respondents (70%) have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship, a 1% increase over 2012 data. Even more encouraging? Nearly half of them can imagine starting their own businesses.
Respondents from Denmark have the most positive attitude toward self-employment (89%). Finland follows with 87% and the Netherlands rounds out the top three most positive countries.
The rest of the story:
We found that 65% of would-be entrepreneurs were motivated by the desire to be independent. People want to control their time and their futures. They want to set their own hours, goals and priorities — be their own boss.
For years now, our study has shown that fear of failure is the biggest obstacle to becoming self-employed. The fear to fail has lead to the gap between the number of people who can imagine starting their own businesses and the number who actually go for it.
We believe it’s urgent to support the activation of potential entrepreneurs by jointly raising awareness, encouraging further debate and doing anything we can to negate fears.
Amway offers a unique business opportunity and we take seriously our responsibility to engage in the public discussion on entrepreneurship. The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report is one way we do that. It provides decision-makers in the realm of politics, economics and education with real data to inform actions that encourage the foundation of new businesses.
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.
Aside from living on the same continent, what do one Thai restaurant server; a bank employee; a choir director; and a veterinarian all have in common?
All are Amway Business Owners featured in the section of Amway Europe’s web site that promotes its new Start Kit.
The kit, dubbed “a mini journey of discovery into Amway,” holds stories of how these distributors work their businesses; an improved catalog of Amway-exclusive products they can sell; and support guides and access to free web-based training.
It’s a comprehensive effort to make starting an Amway business in Europe easier. Other benefits include a new, lower registration fee; new promotional and training videos; and a simple, step-by-step guide to early profitability.
All of kit’s contents – and the support given behind the scenes – are things that Amway prospects have asked for. And they’ll be used by our current business owners to focus on what they have in common: a desire to give others the extra income and flexibility that they’ve found by representing Amway.
Paternostro, 21, was pleased with the event because it taught young people about their entrepreneurship options, including Amway. All three agreed that the Amway business opportunity provides wonderful experience no matter what they do in the future.
Paternostro said Amway teaches skills useful in any workplace. Glapiak called it “a real training ground for life.” And Iacopini said the business has improved his organizational skills and changed his outlook.
“Certainly the work that I am doing right now is greatly helping me for my future,” he said.
(Thank you to Ricardo Gastoni of Amway Italy for helping with this story.)
According to the 2012 Amway Entrepreneurship Report, women in Britain are less afraid to fail at business than their male counterparts and a full 74% of them believe they have already have the skills to succeed as entrepreneurs.
We know that lack of courage/fear of failure is a barrier to starting a business for many, but when it comes to what motivates people, this year’s study held a surprise – showing that fitting work around family life is an equally important inspiration for women and men.
We believe the Entrepreneurship Centre Director Andy Goldstein best summarized the findings on females. He said, ”We have already seen women breaking down the barriers that existed in business and making a huge contribution in terms of ideas and the drive to make them work. The research shows that if they have an idea, they are prepared to run with it and this is something the UK and the rest of Europe must harness.”
The distributors who won Amway Europe’s Home Demo Contest this year had an experience they won’t soon forget – including being treated like movie stars while they filmed their winning demonstrations.
But they’re not the only ones: Our research scientists at our World Headquarters won’t forget the Home Demo Contest, either.
“What we saw in the distributor Demo Contest was innovation of applications,” Amway Senior Research Scientist Bob Faber said. “And those innovative applications and innovative uses of product shed new light on what we need to be … in the R&D environment, concentrating on in the future.”
Faber and other researchers praised distributors creativity, imagination and innovation. Watch the video to see the story behind the contest and how much fun – and educational — it was for our researchers.
In fact, Women’s Congress is more of a movement than an event. The movement is non-political and growing both in strength and significance with more than 200 prominent and active women including politicians, entrepreneurs, civil activists, ministers, culture activists and feminists serving on its Council.
This year’s gathering attracted 9,500 participants including Poland’s First Lady and was sponsored by Amway Poland. Themed “Activeness, Entrepreneurship and Independence,” it was the perfect stage from which to present the results of the 2011 Amway European Entrepreneurship Report showing that 68 percent (up slightly from 2010) of Polish people see self-employment positively.
Milan, Italy is home to some of the world’s most well known entrepreneurs in fashion and food.
And it is there, last week, that Amway Europe Corporate Affairs Vice President Michael Meissner was on stage at the SELDIA (European Direct Selling Association) Annual Roundtable on the Future of Direct Selling.
The study, in partnership with GfK Market Research and the LMU Entrepreneurship Center, surveyed nearly 14,000 people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine. Key findings included:
Half of 14-29 year olds can see themselves as entrepreneurs in the future.
Positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship are growing throughout Europe, but most significantly in Great Britian, Austria and Ukraine.
To encourage entrepreneurship, we must remove the stigma of failure and increase mentoring and education.
Denmark is the country that sees self employment the most positively.
Non materialistic reasons, such as work-family balance, are gaining ground as top reasons for becoming an entrepreneur.
Then, Meissner participated in a panel discussion with Italian academicians, consumer advocates and government officials on actions that could be taken across the European Union to foster more entrepreneurship. Participant Maria Ida Germontani, a member of the Italian Senate Finance Committee, said something we really liked: that “vision, farsightedness and determination” would help people translate their talents and creativity into real, viable businesses that would drive the worldwide economy.
As an incubator of the entrepreneurial spirit, Amway – and we’re sure our distributors feel the same- could not agree more.
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.