Starting a Business Sparks Self-Fulfillment and Freedom for Americans
When ranking the reasons to choose entrepreneurship, 60% of Americans identified “self-fulfillment, possibility to realize own ideas,” 59% said “independence from an employer, being my own boss” and 54% reported “better compatibility of family, leisure time and career.” These findings were consistent with the worldwide average, though the order of importance for Americans was reversed. When factoring in age, the youngest respondents again were most supportive, at 70%, 66% and 69% respectively.
“Americans are strongly motivated by their desire to pursue and implement their own ideas,” remarks Dr. David B. Audretsch, professor and director of the Institute for Development Strategies at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “Self-fulfillment is a motivating force that’s consistent with positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship and the belief that entrepreneurship can be taught.”
Unique in its broadness and regularity, the AGER fosters global discussion on entrepreneurship, as well as raises awareness of the significant role entrepreneurs play in modern economies. The groundbreaking first survey launched in 2010 as the Amway European Entrepreneurship Report, then expanded worldwide with the 2013 AGER, which encompassed 24 countries including the United States. The 2014 AGER spans a record 38 markets and more than 43,000 people aged 14-99.
“Our involvement in the AGER elevates the entrepreneurial spirit in our market and around the world,” notes Jim Ayres, Managing Director of Amway North America. “The findings help inform the modernization of the Amway business, so we can ultimately better enable the success of our Independent Business Owners and their prospects.”
Additional key findings from the United States include:
Education is everything: Success in business was linked to success in the classroom. Americans rated the most crucial aspects of entrepreneurship education as “leadership and management skills” (47%) and “basic business skills” (39%). These were consistent worldwide, but in reverse order. At 46%, universities were the classrooms of choice, and six out of ten (61%) found their education options satisfactory – significantly more than the global average (43%). Yet 44% of Americans admitted the need for improvement.
Positivity prevails: 62% of Americans held positive attitudes towards entrepreneurship, a 6% increase from last year. Respondents aged 35-49 showed the most positivity, at 75%, along with university graduates, at 73%. Men and women were nearly equally positive, at 63% and 61%, and Hispanics were the most positive ethnicity, at 71%.
Falling friendliness: When asked if the United States was an entrepreneurship-friendly society, just 60% answered “yes”, in sharp contrast to last year’s 73%. “This decline is a striking revelation,” adds Audretsch. “It’s an insight that uncovers an important area of concern that needs more discussion.”
The 2014 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management, Technische Universität München in Munich, Germany. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung Nuremberg from April through July. Results are shared with the scientific community, including the 38 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions. For more information about the global findings of AGER 2014, please visit the Amway newsroom or go to AmwayEntrepreneurshipReport.com.
Amway/Alticor is the world’s #1 direct selling business, as ranked by 2013 global sales of $11.8 billion, according to the Direct Selling News Global 100. Top-selling Amway brands and products are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, and eSpring™ water treatment systems – all sold exclusively by Amway Independent Business Owners. For more company news, visit globalnews.amway.com.
Amway North America Public Relations