“Steve Van Andel”


Breakfast Agenda: Entrepreneurship

On Thursday, April 24th, at one of Washington D.C.’s most inspiring places, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and Amway President Doug DeVos will join three U.S.-based entrepreneurship advocates on stage to discuss ways to create and advance entrepreneurs around the globe.

A number of students, educators and delegates from the Georgetown University Leadership Program will participate in the discussion, and you’re invited, too.

It’s a subject near and dear to Steve’s and Doug’s hearts, and the same goes for these panelists:

• Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of “The Road to Freedom: The Fight for Free Enterprise” and “Gross National Happiness: Why Happiness Matters for America – and How We Can Get More of It.”

• Lisa Miller, chief growth officer of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which provides programs that inspire young people from low-income communities to stay in school, recognize business opportunities and plan for successful futures.

• Kara Valikai, director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Women’s Economic Empowerment Issue Network.

We’ll start with an overview of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, in which we sought the opinions of 26,000 people in 24 countries on the attitudes, concerns and desires around becoming entrepreneurs.

The data tells one story, but the group of entrepreneurial experts gathering on April 24th will tell the rest of the story. Although they hail from different disciplines, every panel member believes it’s urgent to support the activation of potential entrepreneurs by raising awareness, encouraging further debate and doing anything we can to negate fears.

Audience participation in the Q&A will drive the discussion, and it all happens before 11 in the morning! Watch for live coverage and join the conversation by following @Amway on twitter.


Constant celebration

The U.S. Small Business Administration has declared that March is national Start a Business Month.

At Amway, every month is start a business month, whether in the U.S. or around the world! In fact, every day, we equip new entrepreneurs with the mentorship, confidence, products and training they need to own and run a business.

In the video below,  Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel said, “We’ve never lost sight of our belief in entrepreneurs.  They have been the essential . . . driving force of our business for over 50 years.”

“Entrepreneurs fuel our success, as well as the economies of communities around the world,” added Amway President Doug DeVos. “Today, the spirit of entrepreneurism is alive and well.”

The findings of the 2013 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report – which measured the dynamics of entrepreneurism among 26,000 people in 24 countries – reinforces these statements.

In 2014, Amway will continue to study the entrepreneurial landscape, looking at what helps and holds people back from bringing their entrepreneurial ideas to life.

We’ll also be adding 13 new countries to our study this year, including India, Korea, China, Brazil, South Africa and Norway. A total of 37 countries will be surveyed, and the release of our results will coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week in November of this year. (Check out this great video of coverage from last year’s release of the report.)

Until then, follow us on Twitter or Facebook to join the conversation about the role that Amway, and the entire direct selling industry, plays in building and fostering the entrepreneurial spirit around the world. Search for #AGER to find posts specifically about the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.

YouTube Direkt


Courage, coaching and CEO’ing

Open a closet or cupboard door in many homes around the world and odds are you’ll find at least one product from General Mills, Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, L.L. Bean or Fisher Price. And the leaders of these companies have much to teach us: about transformation, innovation, big data, culture, philanthropy and purpose.

That’s why Robert Reiss, Forbes columnist and longtime host of The CEO Show, brings these leaders on air, and asks them the tough questions about their personal management styles, how they have reinvented their industries, and how to develop best practices while upholding their own values. His show airs weekly and is syndicated in full or in segments in 85 U.S. cities.

The recent interview that Reiss did with Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel and Amway President Doug DeVos went live on the show’s website last week. It was an excellent opportunity to amplify Amway’s story, share the entrepreneurial spirit and drive behind direct selling, and have an important conversation about the role of entrepreneurs — people like our Amway Business Owners — in healthy,  growing economies.

In the final minutes of the interview, Reiss asks both men for the advice they have for anyone considering becoming an entrepreneur. Said Steve, “You have to just jump in and try something. It doesn’t always work, but it doesn’t matter. Just keep trying.” Doug added, “Get connected with mentors and other people who’ve done it. . . everyone thinks it’s about money. It’s not. It’s about people and it’s about connecting with others who can give you encouragement. . . ”

Courage and coaching. To us, that sounds about right.


Shared responsibility

According to Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel, business leaders, policy makers, academics and experts share an important responsibility: to eliminate unnecessary regulations, taxes and other barriers in order to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.

Van Andel wrote this opinion piece for CNBC and provided a similar view to the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He believes that in order for individual entrepreneurs to flourish and prosper, more business training and entrepreneurship education resources should be available.

His comments were prompted by the findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report released this past November. The report, developed in partnership with the Entrepreneurship Center at University of Munich and GfK Global Research, helped open a global dialogue on fostering the entrepreneurial mindset, something that Van Andel certainly knows a thing or two about.

Photo: Van Andel presents Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report findings at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Photo by Ian Wagreich / © U.S. Chamber of Commerce


World of impact

More than 100,000 children in one day.

What a great way to mark 10 years of helping more than 10 million children through the Amway One by One Campaign for Children.

On November 20 we marked Amway Universal Children’s Day, inviting our Amway Business Owners and employees to reach out and help children in their community. They did not disappoint.

During the span of 24 hours, more than 15,000 ABOs and employees from 57 countries volunteered 35,425 hours through 304 projects. Those efforts benefitted more than 100,000 children.

“Amway is a people business, and our people live and work in communities all over the world,” said Todd Woodward, vice president for Amway brand, public relations and corporate social responsibility. “For one day we aligned as a global company to make the lives of the children and families in the communities we serve a little better.”

Read more about the events of November 20 here and watch this message of thanks from Steve Van Andel and Doug DeVos.

YouTube Direkt


Global potential

Since being named chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce in June, Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel has shared lunch with the new president of South Korea and addressed the leaders of the top 100 U.S. chambers.

On a recent trip to China, he met with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, several other government officials, top media and distributor leaders.

The theme has been similar in all of these meetings: Our potential is great if we remain true to our values, show leadership and embrace innovation.

“Dad and Rich believed people have an innate desire to make their lives better,” Van Andel said. “And they believed that by empowering others, people would work to reach their greatest potential. At Amway, we offer people the opportunity to own their own business … to pursue a level of success they desire.

“And with commitment and hard work, they can change their lives. Improving people’s lives has been our vision since the beginning. And we believe that ultimately, it’s why Amway’s been so successful.”

It’s a message Van Andel will continue share all over the world as he travels this next year as chairman of both Amway and the U.S. Chamber. We think it has potential – do you agree?

Written by Andrea Clark


Amway. Everywhere.

“My dad pretty much had ideas about Amway everywhere.”

Those were the words of Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel as he spoke with China Daily recently about the company, his role as chairman of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and his father — Amway Co-Founder and former U.S. Chamber Chairman Jay Van Andel.

“It was mostly because he just looked at people, and he said: ‘You know a lot of people want the opportunity to do something for themselves.’ And that’s what the Amway business has to offer,” Van Andel said.

Today, Amway is virtually everywhere.  The company operates in more than 100 countries and territories, and 90 percent of the business is outside of the United States.

It seems Jay Van Andel was right — people want to do something for themselves all around the world.

To read the full China Daily article, including insights from Steve Van Andel’s first visit to China, click here.


Persons of Influence

Every year Time Magazine selects its “Person of the Year,” the individual, organization, idea or object that most influenced the world in a given year.

Earlier this year the Economic Club of Grand Rapids honored four leaders with connections to Amway as “Persons of the Year.”

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.

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Enterprising outlook

Our chairman, Steve Van Andel, is a strong proponent of free enterprise.

That’s because he has seen first-hand at Amway how opportunity and hard work can help change people’s lives dramatically, creating personal freedom that opens the door for a positive future.

In his role as chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce, Steve speaks about the importance of economic freedom – how it spreads prosperity, drives healthy competition and inspires incredible business innovation.

His message? That free enterprise fosters self-reliance, motivation, dignity and happiness. It inspires people to tap their potential. Armed with those skills and that confidence, they can do more and be more than they ever imagined.

Hard work and success, he says, are critical components for a strong, dynamic economy.

And that’s good for everyone.

Photo by Ian Wagreich, courtesy of the US Chamber


World Leader

Entrepreneurship.  Partnership.  Free enterprise.  Themes that have guided Amway since its inception, each serves as a hallmark of the world’s largest business federation – the United States Chamber of Commerce.

Today, the two organizations will strengthen their connection, as Amway Chairman Steve Van Andel begins a one-year term as the chairman of the U.S. Chamber.

We are proud of his leadership role in this prestigious organization – a position he held once before, from 2001 to 2002.

Steve’s belief that business leaders need to share their experiences and knowledge was a lesson he learned from his closest role model. His father, Amway Co-Founder Jay Van Andel, also served in 1979-80.  They are the first father-son duo to hold the chairman position – not only at the U.S. Chamber, but also at Amway.

That legacy of leadership is an excellent example for us all.

[Photo by Ian Wagreich, U.S. Chamber]