Americans overwhelmingly see entrepreneurism in a positive light.
The 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, or AGER, released last week, found that 86 percent of Americans expressed positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship.
That is 11 percent higher than the 2015 global average and represents a 24-percent increase from the 2014 AGER survey.
Now in its sixth year, the AGER takes the public pulse of the state of self-employment around the world.
Ada-based Amway said the 2015 AGER spans 44 countries, with in person and telephone interviews conducted with nearly 50,000 men and women ages 14-99.
The 2015 study delves into the key characteristics of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit, debuting the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, or AESI.
Derived from acclaimed psychologist Icek Ajzen’s “Theory of Planned Behavior,” the AESI measures three dimensions that influence a person’s intention to start a business: desire, feasibility and stability against social pressure.
The survey found that 75 percent of Americans rated “independence from an employer” and 72 percent rated “self-fulfillment, possibility to realize own ideas” as factors influencing the entrepreneurial spirit.
At 53, the U.S. outscored the international AESI average of 51, with feasibility ranked first among the three dimensions, at 60 percent — nearly six out of 10 said they are prepared to own a business — in sharp contrast to the worldwide average, where feasibility ranks third.
Those numbers are different between American men and women.
Sixty-one percent of men said they are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship, compared to 42 percent of women.
The numbers also differ based on age.
Fifty-eight percent of Americans ages 35-49 reported the desire to become an entrepreneur.
The greatest obstacle to pursuing entrepreneurship is the “fear of failure.” Six in 10 Americans identified fear of failure as a hurdle to business ownership. American men and women were nearly equally fearful, at 60 and 63 percent.
Americans under 35 years old, 70 percent, were most fearful of all age groups, citing “financial burdens,” 46 percent, as the greatest factor feeding their fearfulness — both aligning with world results.
View on America
Despite these fears, the majority of Americans saw their country as entrepreneurship friendly: 67 percent, a 7-percent increase from 2014, 60 percent, and 17 percent higher than the global average, 50 percent.
When correlated with AGER results, AESI scores reveal that countries with a higher entrepreneurial spirit are also more positive toward entrepreneurship and have higher entrepreneurial potential and rates of self-employment.
“Americans are at the forefront of entrepreneurship around the world,” said Jim Ayres, managing director, Amway North America.
Ayres said this year’s AGER report proves that “Americans have an undeniable strong entrepreneurial spirit” that’s gaining in momentum and magnitude.