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.
In three decades as an Amway business owner – primarily building her business in Japan – Patrice Deibert has learned a thing or two. Last month, she shared those learnings with employees at Amway World Headquarters.
Fascinating facts included:
• The entrepreneurial spirit often lives where you least expect it. Said Pat, “We can never tell who’s going to be successful – there is no specific personality type or DNA.”
• In Japan, an Amway business owner who has reached the Platinum level of achievement has an average of 169 people on their team. “The horizon up to and between different levels of achievement can be a long one. We always tell people the truth about the amount of work it takes,” she said.
• Japan is one of the leading Amway markets in GenY participation. In fact, she says the lobby of Amway Japan’s Plazas are often packed and at their liveliest at 10 o’clock at night.
• More math from Pat’s perspective: “The toughest part about the business is learning to overcome rejection. To sponsor one person [into the business], I talk to 20.”
• Even after 34 years in Amway, no two days are alike!
Pat and her husband both earned master’s degrees from the University of Michigan, and landed in Tokyo when he joined the United States Air Force. They started an Amway business with nine products to offer and zero Japanese language skills.
Owning a new business while adapting to a new culture was a lot to take on – but Pat reminded us that although no two days are ever alike, it’s a different story with people. ”Inside, we’re more similar than we are different.”
A recent YourMoney article reports a sizable boom in the number of young professionals under the age of 25 becoming direct selling representatives in the United Kingdom.
How did they define sizable? A 29% increase from 2011 to 2012. In fact, the UK Direct Selling Association says that under-25s now make up 19% of its direct sales force. That’s 75,000 new entrepreneurs — a figure that might surprise those who think direct selling has lost some of its consumer influence to online shopping. But it does not surprise us here at Amway.
Last year, a study on 2012 Amway applications by generation showed that globally, more than one-third of our new Amway Business Owners (ABOs) were born after 1981. Leading the charge and recruiting the highest percentage of next-generation business owners is Amway Vietnam, followed closely by Australia,Malaysia and Japan.
Lynda Mills, director of the UK DSA, said it well: “For many young people, the jobs market is incredibly difficult to break into and there is a real desire to work for themselves and get up and running quickly. Direct selling offers just that and a chance for people, whatever their age, to be their own boss and make a very successful career.”
A recent study in Canada supports her assertion. It revealed that 30% of young Canadians believe they will be self-employed in the future, and one in four expects to be their own boss within the next five years.
Call it optimism. Call it an economic necessity. We call it reality — and we embrace it!
It was two years ago that the Minamisanriku area of Japan was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami. Recovery is still underway, and it includes a project by Amway Japan called Remember Hope.
Last month they celebrated the completion of the framework for the first of eight Amway Houses, built with assistance from Amway Japan and Amway business owners. The community buildings will provide space for conferences, meetings and community activities for local residents.
It will be a gathering place for families and a spot for children to learn, play and have fun.
The celebration was marked with ceremony. Amway business owners and local residents attended, witnessing the traditional throwing of rice cakes from the roof.
In 1912, Japan gave 3,000 cherry trees to the United States as a goodwill gesture. Every spring hundreds of thousands of people visit Washington D.C. to see these trees in bloom.
To celebrate the centennial of that generous gift, the U.S. Embassy of Japan has given additional trees to communities all around the U.S. And one of those trees is taking root right here in West Michigan.
The GULP program is designed to identify and develop future Japanese government and media leaders and build positive relationships. The fourth GULP delegation visited Grand Rapids last week, including the garden site.
Just as the original gift of trees was designed to foster friendship and positive relations between the two countries, this tree is a symbol of the relationships Amway Japan is growing with emerging Japanese media and government leaders through the GULP program. See more photos on our Amway Facebook page.
Our Vice President and Chief Sales Officer John Parker is the new Direct Selling Education Foundation’s (DSEF) Chairman of the Board.
He will guide the Foundation as it works with strategic partners that execute programs promoting ethical entrepreneurship and championing consumers’ rights. Some of these partners include American Council on Consumer Interests (ACCI), National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Consumer Education & Protection Initiative and many more.
DSEF Executive Director Charlie Orr notes that John “knows and respects the distributor mindset as well as anybody in our industry.”
John has been with Amway for nearly 20 years, including stints as chief marketing officer and president of Amway Japan, so we know Orr is right. We also know that the DSEF is in good hands.
During a preview and personal tour of the future garden site, they shared their stories and suggestions for the first official tea ceremony with David Hooker, president and CEO at Frederik Meijer Gardens.
He’s intelligent, confident and charismatic. His skin is healthy and his wardrobe effortlessly cool. He’s who the ladies would call “the perfect guy.”
And now, he’s officially an ARTISTRY Man!
Amway Japan recently named Daisuke Fujii, 30, winner of the ARTISTRY Men Contest. He’ll serve as brand ambassador for ARTISTRY Men, the premium range of skincare products formulated to address the specific needs of men’s skin, namely hydration and oil-control. But first, he’ll take an all-expenses-paid trip for two to Stonehenge, among the world’s most famous iconic stone monuments, which inspired the packaging for the ARTISTRY Men collection.
From more than 3,000 entrants, Daisuke was selected by a panel of celebrity judges including actor Mikihisa Azuma, photographer Herbie Yamaguchi, model Alice Saito and Amway Japan President Mark Beiderwieden. Contestants were judged on style, intelligence, communication skills, sense of humor and good values. As brand ambassador, Daisuke will work to raise brand awareness for ARTISTRY Men while attracting Gen Y males in Japan.
And this week the Twitterverse was abuzz with word that American Idol season eight finalist Adam Lambert would perform at Amway Japan’s leadership seminar in Shanghai.
But one of the biggest stars in Amway Japan’s universe wasn’t in Tokyo or Shanghai, but right here at Amway World Headquarters.
Kaoru Nakajima, an Amway Founders Crown Ambassador with 50 Founders Achievement Award (FAA) points, visited Ada this week. Nakajima-san was greeted like a rock star by Amway employees who lined up to cheer him and his achievements.
Nakajima-san was a music composer when he was introduced to the Amway business, and was immediately inspired by the potential the opportunity offered. “I felt the Amway business was going to be my lifelong work,” he said in an interview a few years ago. “There is minimal risk and I was confident I’d be able to have a wonderful life with my family and friends.”
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.