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.
His topic? The European entrepreneurial culture and outlook, fed by data from the 2011 Amway European Entrepreneurship Report titled “The Next Generation of Entrepreneurs.”
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.