Amway on Wednesday released the 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), an in-depth look at the state of entrepreneurship around the world. For the first time, the research also reveals attitudes and behaviors at work in individual countries through the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index.
The Ada, Michigan-based company unveiled this year’s research during an event held Wednesday at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Amway Chairman and Co-CEO Steve Van Andel has served two separate terms as Chairman of the U.S. Chamber, and he currently chairs the organization’s Executive Committee. Van Andel’s Co-CEO, Doug DeVos, and Global Entrepreneurship Week President Jonathan Ortmans discussed the research with guest speakers during Wednesday’s livestreamed panel forum, Grit Happens: Defining the Entrepreneurial Spirit.
This year’s research, conducted across 44 countries, honed in on the key characteristics of entrepreneurs. Predominantly, respondents perceived entrepreneurs as people who “like to learn things” (84 percent), “want to enjoy life” (78 percent), and “like to be in charge and tell others what to do” (75 percent). Independence from an employer (48 percent) and the possibility to realize one’s own ideas (44 percent) were the most compelling factors for starting a business, in line with 2014 findings.
Notably, the research indicates a 33 percentage point “entrepreneurial gap” between those who could envision themselves starting a business (43 percent) and those actually self-employed (10 percent). The Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, based on Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior, explores three factors behind an individual’s decision to start a business: desire, feasibility and stability against social pressure. Taken together, these benchmarks indicate that entrepreneurial spirit is at its highest in India, while Japan trails all other countries in the index. The United States, direct selling’s largest market, ranked No. 14.
The insights presented in the 2015 report come from a survey of 50,000 people aged 14-99. Amway once again partnered with the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management (TUM) in Munich, Germany, and leading research firm Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung (GfK) to create the AGER. The company has also partnered with an academic advisor in each market to assist in interpreting the data.