Amway’s 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Report reveals that while interest and support for entrepreneurship is growing, gender and education gaps exist regarding who is most likely to take the leap to become a business owner.
This is the seventh-annual Global Entrepreneurship Report from Ada-based Amway, and it measures the “public pulse of self-employment around the world.”
This year’s report spans 45 countries, with in person and telephone interviews conducted with more than 50,000 men and women ages 14-99.
Amway said today the 2016 study found that 77 percent of respondents have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship.
Amway said the results reflect a trend of individuals “seeking to work independently from an employer,” as a “desire for greater flexibility is on the rise.” It also said the interest in self-employment found in the study may explain the increasing importance of global trends like the “sharing economy, on-demand economy, peer-to-peer economy, freelance nation, etc.”
According to the report, 39 percent of respondents worldwide see self-employment as more likely in five years than today and 56 percent feel comfortable searching for and acquiring customers, which is considered “a key element” of self-employment.
“These results seem to be indicators of a changing world of work,” Amway said.
Doug DeVos, Amway president and chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, said today’s work environment is “different from years ago,” with more people wanting to work independently and find greater fulfillment in life. He said this is “especially” true of the millennial generation.
The report also features the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, or AESI. Introduced in 2015, the AESI measures three dimensions that influence a person’s intention to start a business: desirability, feasibility and stability against social pressure. The average score for all countries was 50. The U.S. scored a 56. The highest-scoring country was Vietnam, with an 81, and the lowest-scoring countries were Japan and Bulgaria, with a 26.
Respondents with a university degree (84 percent) are more positive toward entrepreneurship than those without a degree (74 percent).
Degreed respondents (46 percent) also believe they are more likely to be self-employed in the next five years than those without a degree (37 percent).
University graduates (60 percent) are more comfortable than non-graduates (55 percent) with acquiring customers.
And more respondents with a university degree (49 percent) can imagine starting a business than non-graduates (41 percent).
Amway said these are “surprising findings,” given that those who pursue higher education are often perceived as more likely to take a conventional career path.
Education also impacts the overall AESI score, as those with a university degree had higher scores (56) compared to those without a university degree (49).
Both men and women have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship. Yet, men are more willing to actually start a business and more comfortable with acquiring customers.
With respect to gender, 43 percent of respondents could imagine starting a business, but men (48 percent) are more willing to do so than women (38 percent).
Fewer women (52 percent) would be comfortable acquiring customers than men (60 percent).
In general, men also had higher AESI scores (55) in all dimensions compared to women (47).
Field work was completed by the Nuremberg, Germany-based Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung from April through June.
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