Amway Report: Americans Lead in Entrepreneurial Confidence


Americans aren’t afraid of entrepreneurial-related failure — at least in comparison to the rest of the world, according to a new report by Amway, the world’s top direct-sales business.

The Ada-based company, near Grand Rapids, found that while more than two-thirds of people globally said their “fear of failure” was the number one obstacle to starting a business, 62 percent of people polled in the U.S. are not afraid to fail, the highest percentage globally. In comparison, 94 percent of respondents in Japan are “extremely frightened” about starting a business venture, followed by 91 percent in both Italy and Czech Republic.

The report also determined the U.S. was the most entrepreneurship-friendly country, with 73 percent of respondents saying the nation was “rather” or “very” supportive of startups. In contrast, 76 percent of respondents in Portugal and 64 percent in Spain said that their country was “rather” or “very” unfriendly.

“The (report) identified key distinctions in the way Americans view entrepreneurship today,” says Steve Van Andel, chairman of Amway and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “It showed that while the American Dream is still very much alive, it needs to be tended to with greater care in order to take root as a way of life for future generations.”

Other key findings from the report include:

  • Four out of 10 Americans can imagine starting their own business.
  • The most appealing component of self-employment is gaining “independence from an employer, and being one’s own boss.”
  • Americans think “entrepreneurship, education, and teaching of business skills” are indispensable to becoming a successful entrepreneur. 

More than 26,000 people in 24 countries, aged 14-99, were surveyed through telephone and face-to-face interviews on the subject of entrepreneurship.

“This study can be used to help shape the way educators, politicians, and small business leaders engage and interact with the public to achieve successful outcomes in strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit globally,” says Isabell M. Welpe, director of the TUM University of Munich.

Last year, Alticor/Amway posted $11.3 billion in revenue, and was ranked the top direct-selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News Global 100. Founded in 1959, the company has more than 3 million Amway distributors, 21,000-plus employees, and operates in more than 100 countries and territories.

To read the full report, click here.