Starring iCook

In Ukraine, expectant mothers often tune into the popular TV program 9 Months for all kinds of advice about pregnancy and new parenthood.

Recently 9 Months fans learned about cooking fast and healthy family meals from a chef at Ukraine’s Amway Academy, which provides online and instructor-led learning opportunities for Amway Business Owners and customers as well as ABO certification programs.

Chef Andrew Kubrak appeared on four segments, showing viewers how to prepare easy, healthy and tasty dishes using iCook stainless and nonstick cookware. He demonstrated how the special iCook VITALOK low-moisture cooking method preserves nutrients and makes meals appetizing.

New segments of 9 Months air weekly on Ukraine’s TBi channel (in English: TVI). TBi is carried by 85 percent of Ukraine’s cable networks and is viewed in about 60 percent of Ukrainian cities with populations over 50,000.

Last year, the Amway Academy provided more than 200,000 ABO and customer training contacts—including some tasty lessons from Chef Kubrak.

Click here to view a 45-minute iCook segment. It’s in Ukrainian, but isn’t the language of food universal?


Understanding Entrepreneurship in Ukraine

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.

Additional learnings:

  • 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?


Diverse Perspectives: Our Annual 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.

So what?

  • 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!


Exotic Ada

It’s no secret that one of the perks of success in Amway is that we send our distributors on business and incentive trips to some of the world’s most beautiful locations. But just as often, we simply bring them home – to our World Headquarters in Ada, Michigan, a community of 10,000 residents that is also home to rivers, working farmlands and a historic town village.

When they visit, they share their stories with employees, who frankly, never tire of hearing about who they are and how they’ve built their Amway business. Employees consider this a privilege, and we hope our Amway Insider readers will, too.

A few days ago, Founders Council member Wonbo Shim told us that when he was a mechanical engineer in California, he was relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, with no say in the matter. That’s when he realized, “my life is not mine,” and started his Amway business.

During that same employee meeting, Deidre Sala told us that when she was a young girl, her mother bought fruits, vegetables and Amway products from a small truck that drove through her tiny town on Australia’s Gold Coast. Naturally, her first thought when someone approached her about the Amway business was, “but we don’t own a truck!” She soon learned what it actually takes to be an Amway business owner – no truck necessary!

Igor and Valeria Kharatin, Ukranians, shared, “We both started our careers as teachers, but now, we have our own school.” Igor and Valeria used their profits from Amway to set up a school teaching sportsman-like conduct to young athletes.

And to wrap up that day’s meetings, Foo Howe Kean, an Amway Founders Council member from Malaysia said, “They say opportunity never knocks twice, but for me, it did.”

He was shown the Amway compensation plan once, but was unsure if was for him. That second ”knock” came from the former chairman of the Dental Association of Malaysia, a friend of his at the time. Foo joined Amway 35 years ago. Since then he has also started Amway businesses in China, Indonesia, Taiwan and Thailand.

Perhaps Deidra’s husband Mitch summarized how we all — employees and distributors alike — often feel. He said, ”We all become slightly better people than we were when we joined [Amway].”


Innovation, imagination and creativity

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.

Congratulations, again, to our winners!

YouTube DirektAmway Home Demo Contest Video


Making the world a better place

YouTube Direkt

Did you know that Amway employees and distributors have volunteered more than 2.5 million hours to make the communities where they work and live a better place?

Read about our ongoing efforts around the world in the 2011 Amway Global Corporate Citizenship Report published today, or in the Amway One By One blog.  That blog, by the way, was recently honored as the “Best Corporate Social Responsibility” blog by PR News.


On the record in Ukraine

It’s a long way from Kiev to Ada, Michigan. But once Ukranian journalists got here for a press visit and the conversation about the global economy got going, distance didn’t seem to matter.

Following their August visit, Delo, a daily business newspaper, printed an interview with Doug DeVos on how distributors have – and always will – remain central to our business. Monthly magazine Tvoye Zdorovye, translated as “Your Health,” talked with Doug as part of a larger story on business ethics, noting that we were environmentally-focused before it became a “fashionable marketing term.” And finally, in an S Toboy article on American women’s beauty secrets, our Artistry and Nutrilite brands were mentioned.

We’ve got great stories to tell. Our press visits are just one way we do it.