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.
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.
The traditional gifts that spouses give each other to celebrate a 25th anniversary in the United States include iris flowers and silver jewelry. This month, we are quietly honoring that same milestone for the Women’s Business Ownership Act, which was signed into law in October of 1988.
This landmark legislation allowed women to receive business loans without the co-signature of a male relative; created the National Women’s Business Council; and helped fund Women’s Business Centers - similar to this one in our backyard – all over the country.
As of 2012, the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimated that there are more than 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating $1.3 trillion in revenue and employing 7.7 million people.
Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and President Doug DeVos were selected “Business Persons of the Year” for their leadership of Amway as well as efforts to improve their hometown of Grand Rapids. They were lauded for their partnership in leading Amway to unprecedented success, including their commitment to “do the right thing and do it well.”
And Amway Cofounder Rich DeVos and wife Helen were honored for their legacy of community leadership and giving, which literally changed the skyline and future of the city. They were celebrated for being a “catalyst and spark” for the reinvention of Grand Rapids through their “leadership, positive drive and can-do attitude.”
From running a global business in Ada, to giving generously, to leading change in our community, these four meet the criteria for “influence.” And they’ve definitely made a difference in our corner of the world.
This video takes a closer look at Rich and Helen’s contributions.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The old axiom is of debatable origin, but few debate the message: It is better to teach someone how to do something than to do it for them.
That’s a philosophy widely embraced in direct selling, where leadership is all about helping others succeed by showing them the way.
The business opportunity is open to anyone, regardless of their experience. Individuals must take advantage of training, business tools and mentoring that can help them master the fundamentals and build real success. People are more likely to succeed when the business opportunity and distributor leaders offer plenty of each.
Nibardo Espinosa, a former electronics technican from a small town in Panama, and his wife, Yenory Rodriguez, can tell you first hand how important educational programs and networking with other business owners has been to the success of their Amway business in Costa Rica.
Even after several years in the business, the couple found fresh skills, focus and knowledge in training provided to Amway business owners. Building relationships with others facing similar challenges brought them the confidence and determination they needed to grow as entrepreneurs. Plus, it gave them greater self-esteem and the financial ability to improve their parents’ living conditions along with their own.
As part of a panel titled “(S)heroes and Influencers” at the Working Mother Multicultural Conference July 23, Candace told her story, focusing on the relationship with the single most influential person in her life, her mother, Bessie Sheffield.
Candace told the group that all the skills she applies as a leader at a global company she learned from her mother, the CEO of the family. Candace was the youngest of 18 children, and when she was 10, her father died, leaving her mother to raise her and several siblings alone. Bessie led her family with perseverance, faith and a commitment to give that Candace embraced in her life and career.
The direct selling business — just like most sizeable industries — is no stranger to tough questions posed by critics and the media. But when those questions hit home, and are posed instead by friends, relatives or neighbors, it’s helpful to have a place to go for answers.
74% of U.S. adults have purchased from a direct seller.
In 2012 in the U.K., there was a 29% increase in people aged 25 and younger joining direct selling companies.
The direct selling business model is vocally supported by the likes of University of New Mexico Professor Linda Farrell, Senior Vice President of the Council of Better Business Bureaus Beverly Baskin and former Federal Trade Commissioner Thomas Leary.
The site also contains helpful links to published academic research on the economic impact and history of direct selling, along with growth and outlook figures for the future.
All in all, it’s a great place to go when — just like Dragnet’s crime solver Sgt. Joe Friday — all you want are the facts.
Amway and our distributors have always focused on three ways to benefit others — with gifts of time, talent and treasure. In 2013, some of the largest U.S. companies will follow our example.
A recent article in The Chronicle of Philanthropy projects modest increases in corporate cash giving with more emphasis on other giving options, such as employee volunteerism and product donations. (The article is available online to subscribers only, but a PDF of the printed article is available here Chronicle of Philanthropy – Amway.) The information comes from a recent Chronicle survey of major U.S. corporate donors that included 106 of the 300 biggest companies as ranked by Fortune.
We’re very pleased to tell you that Amway, Nutrilite and NUTRILITE™ LITTLE BITS™ supplement is featured in the article as an example of this trend of leveraging corporate talent and expertise to solve world issues and support nonprofits: “Amway, a direct-sales company, has created a new product, NUTRILITE LITTLE BITS supplement, solely for philanthropic purposes. The product, a powder full of micronutrients that parents can sprinkle on food, reduces stunting and anemia in children who suffer from chronic malnutrition. It is currently in use in Mexico and Zambia.”
Developed by researchers at Amway and Nutrilite, LITTLE BITS is designed to be part of an integrated health program to combat malnutrition. We’re proud to be helping children live better lives with the hope that they will grow to enjoy a healthy adulthood.
And based on some fun summer math, here’s another number to ponder:
If our parent company, Alticor, participated in the Fortune Magazine Fortune 500 listing — an annual ranking of sales revenues for those companies that are incorporated and operating in the U.S. — the numbers show we potentially would come in at #238. That would put us ahead of impressive brands such as Visa, Estée Lauder and Campbell’s Soup.
Notable numbers? Absolutely. And it’s only the beginning.
It’s an American holiday, yes, but it represents part of what Amway was built on: independence and opportunity. We can all celebrate that!
We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday weekend. (Our corporate offices will be closed today and tomorrow.) And for those in West Michigan, we hope you enjoy the fireworks in downtown Grand Rapids tonight as we continue our sponsorship of the event.
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.