Photo: Ricardo and Claudia Zermeno, Amway Independent Business Owners
The likelihood of someone actually starting a business has a lot to do with where he or she lives, according to new research funded by Amway.
A number of factors influence the decision to become an entrepreneur, including desirability, feasibility and stability against social pressure. The Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, released in tandem with the 2016 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, measures those factors on a country-by-country basis, providing a big-picture perspective on entrepreneurship around the world.
The company first introduced its index in 2015, and when correlated with the Global Entrepreneurship Report, it revealed that countries scoring higher in entrepreneurial spirit were those where respondents had more positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship, as well as higher entrepreneurial potential and rates of self-employment. The AESI is based on Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior, which uses the three factors mentioned above—desirability, feasibility and stability against social pressure—to predict behavior.
In partnership with the Technical University of Munich, Germany, Amway asked more than 50,000 individuals in 45 countries whether they see starting a business as a desirable career opportunity; whether they possess the necessary skills and resources to do so; and whether family or friends could dissuade them from taking the leap. Taken together, their responses indicate that entrepreneurial spirit is at its highest in Vietnam, which scored 81 on the AESI, followed by India (80) and Thailand (77). Japan registered the lowest score at 26.
In the United States—the most lucrative market for direct sales, according to research from the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations—61 percent of respondents expressed a desire to pursue entrepreneurship and said they have the resources to do so, but just 47 percent said they would not be dissuaded by the concerns of family and friends. Overall, the U.S. scored 56 on the AESI, coming in slightly above the average score of 50.