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.
When Amway releases its annual sales, people focus on the big number, sales of USD$11.8 billion for 2013, another record for the company.
But we measure our accomplishments in smaller terms – the individual successes of a lot of ones, twos and threes.
Ones, such as Patrice Deibert of the U.S., who has built a thriving Amway business in Japan.
Twos, including Vladimir and Elena Sidorov of Russia, who found an outlet for their entrepreneurial spirit in Amway.
And threes, like Minnie Wen, Li Man Bong and Roy Li of Hong Kong, each of whom started a promising career but wanted more control over their future.
Millions of people like Patrice, Vladimir and Roy are achieving their potential through their Amway businesses.
That’s why our annual sales are more than a number. They represent the collective achievements of our business owners all over the world, supported by our more than 21,000 employees.
To them, we say thank you, and congratulations on another amazing year.
This definition of “will” is one we can really appreciate: “The power of control the mind has over its own actions; the power of choosing one’s actions and asserting one’s choice.”
In Greece – the world’s 72nd most populous country according to 2012 figures – the findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report revealed that will and determination are as strong as ever, despite the economic recovery being experienced there. We learned:
- 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.
Entrepreneurship is well-liked in Great Britain, especially among the young and educated.
That’s according to the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, which studied views and attitudes toward entrepreneurship and self-employment in 24 countries.
Here are some results from Great Britain:
- On average, almost 8 out of 10 respondents, or 77%, have a positive attitude toward self-employment. That’s a boost from last year’s 75% and about 7% higher than the international average.
- Among 18- to 24-year-olds the number grows to 86%. Add a university degree to that group and the number jumps to 91%.
- On the whole, 88% of the respondents with a college degree report positive feelings toward entrepreneurship. Views dropped among those without a degree to 74%, but that’s still higher than the international average in that group — 67%
So, why do those in Great Britain like the idea of starting a business? Well, it’s not about the money. “Second income prospects” was one of the least important reasons they would consider it. The highest ranked reason was “independence from an employer and being one’s own boss.” The second most appealing reason was “self-fulfillment and possibility to realize own ideas.”
Question asked: In your opinion, which of the following aspects appeal to you as reasons to start up your own business?
Self-employment is gaining attractiveness in Ukraine, according to the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report. In fact, among Ukrainians under 30 years old, and those living in the West and South regions, positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship are some of the highest in our entire study — at 83%.
Recent advances in infrastructure, agriculture and the business start-up environment in Ukraine are likely contributing to the positive outlook.
- Money talks: When compared to the international average, respondents from Ukraine overwhelmingly state that the most appealing reason to start a business is the prospect of a second income.
- Location matters: Respondents living in Kiev see it differently, choosing “self-fulfillment” as a motivator to starting a business at a higher rate than their fellow countrymen.
- Gender does not: In Ukraine, there is no gender gap in positivity toward entrepreneurship.
- Any age: In contrast to most other countries surveyed, respondents over the age of 30 are just as leary as self employment as a good choice for themselves as their younger countrymen. Maturity and experience do not lessen the fear of failure.
- Business friendly: Ukrainian respondents see “low bureaucracy” as an important factor to the foundation of business. They see their regulatory, media and social environment — despite recent forward momentum — as neither friendly nor unfriendly. (See below.)
Amway looks forward to its second decade of doing business in Ukraine as well as continuing to study, sharpen and socialize ideas for keeping the entrepreneurial spirit alive and well there.
Question asked: If you think about politics, media coverage and the people you know: how entrepreneurship-friendly is the society in Ukraine?
In just three months, Moscow will play host to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Congress, an event with goals that are very much aligned to that of our recently released Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), including:
• To exchange ideas favorable to entrepreneurship.
• To show entrepreneurs how collaborative communities can help them launch and scale.
• To increase global recognition of entrepreneurs for the important role they play in society.
In fact, Russia was one of 24 countries we studied, and our findings could be useful in shaping the nation’s policy, education and image-building for entrepreneurship. For example, we learned that positive attitudes toward self-employment in Russia are declining, down from 73% positive in 2012 to 65% in 2013. And that the Ural and Northwest regions were nearly 20 points lower in positivity than in Siberia and the South.
Alarmingly few females in Russia said they could imagine starting their own business (26%), which is surprising given the independence and mobility of Russian women.
This warrants discussion during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress and beyond about how to strengthen and nurture women’s entrepreneurial spirit and meet the particular needs of would-be female entrepreneurs.
We’re committed to these conversations, to the actions that can come as a result, and most of all, to our amazing Amway Russia Business Owners – people such as Mark and Marina Kaplun and Vladimir and Elena Sidorov. They stay the course, encourage others to define themselves through entrepreneurship and, along with other direct sellers in Russia, help build better economies and communities.
Pull any cleaning product off your shelf at home. Do you know how much that product is quality-tested before it gets to you?
We can tell you, if it’s one of our Amway home care brands.
Amway Quality Assurance lab analysts perform hundreds of tests a day on our surface, dish and laundry care products made in our U.S.-based manufacturing plants to ensure they meet our exacting quality standards.
That amounts to 124,000 tests every year on raw ingredients, finished products and even packaging — just for home products made in Ada, Michigan. Our home care products made in Belgium, China, India and Vietnam are tested with the same rigor. All to ensure our products always look, smell and perform exactly as promised by the scientists who created the formulas — and that they are safe for your family.
We don’t have to be that exacting. No regulatory agency in the world requires that much testing.
We do it for one reason: to ensure the more than 3 million people worldwide who proudly use and sell Amway products are getting the quality they deserve — in every package.
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.
After all, the more entrepreneurs, the merrier!
Amway’s manufacturing expansion is well under way. The seven-site, $375 million project is geared toward building an infrastructure that will continue to provide quality nutrition, beauty and home products to the world for decades to come.
Recent visitors to construction sites in the U.S. states of California, Washington and Michigan have seen great advancements, as have visitors to the Tamil Nadu, India site. While there are several months left before these projects begin manufacturing products for consumers, the visible progress is exciting.
And, you don’t have to be on the ground to see the progress. Photo albums of some of the sites are updated regularly, allowing everyone to track the developments. New photos have recently been added to the albums for Buena Park, California, and our new tablet and soft gel facility down the street from our World Headquarters in Michigan.
As work progresses, we’ll soon add photos of our other projects, including China and Vietnam.
It is an exciting time at Amway, as we grow to meet growing demand worldwide.
People who start any kind of business quickly realize: There’s a lot of work to do, and they are in charge. On Day One, it becomes their turn to call the shots, decide how to use their time and set the goals and priorities.
Being in charge of the priorities is one of the things Vladimir and Elena Sidorov appreciate most about being Amway Business Owners.
Before they joined Amway Russia in 2005, the Sidorovs held many jobs in their small village in the Altai Mountain region of Siberia: producing snake venom, growing mushrooms, delivering coal, working in retail.
When he heard about Amway, Vladimir felt he’d discovered a business opportunity that plays to his entrepreneurial streak and preference for working independently. The couple embraced the responsibility of owning a business and the success they have enjoyed from their own hard work.
So what advice did they have for their son Ilya when he became an Amway distributor at age 19? “Stop thinking like an employee and start thinking like a leader,” Vladimir says.
That can be a daunting change for those used to having someone else control their time and activities. In direct selling, newcomers typically find help in that transition through training and mentoring by their leaders. However, it still takes discipline and the willingness to accept that rewards are commensurate with the effort they put in.
The Sidorovs find their work hours aren’t fixed, but they don’t mind. Through their business they spend a lot of time together and with other successful people.
That’s a priority achieved.