New data reveals an eagerness for entrepreneurship

Amway’s 2023 report spotlights Americans’ views about business ownership and may reveal the importance of an entry point into entrepreneurship.

Just a few decades ago, people considering starting their own businesses had a few well-worn avenues to achieve that goal.

Restaurants, shops, and specialty businesses represented natural routes to entrepreneurship—at least for those able to supply the up-front capital required while also designing successful products, branding, and business plans.

As much as our economy has shifted in the decades since, it is only in the past few years that we have embraced the merits of a true modern economy. With this, we are seeing a reimagining of—and a fresh appreciation for—what it means to go into business for yourself.

Now, a long-operating American company occupying a unique space in the entrepreneurial landscape has released a trove of new data—the latest installment of a large, long-running global study on perceptions of entrepreneurship—about how Americans perceive business ownership.

And a close look at that data may reveal something else: the key to that same company’s long record of success.

One key attribute of Amway’s is the company’s role as a leader in the health and well-being space through the sales and manufacturing of popular brands, such as Nutrilite. Amway is also known for the sense of community it provides to individuals on their well-being journeys. Perhaps lesser understood is Amway’s role as an engine of American entrepreneurship.

For the six-plus decades of its operations, Amway’s model has been one focused on lowering the barriers to entry for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to explore business ownership without facing the big hurdles and costs associated with starting a new company from scratch. That’s because Amway provides products, the supply chain, e-commerce storefronts, and mentorship from others and holistically supports its independent sellers in developing their own business plans and goals. All this allows popular health and well-being products to reach consumers in communities across the country. Today, hundreds of thousands of Americans in every state across the country have become a part of this long-standing model as Amway independent business owners (IBOs).

So it makes sense that the company has a keen interest in closely tracking attitudes about small business ownership. Its model is based on the long-running truth that Americans will continue to want to go into business for themselves and that they may find the Amway opportunity an appealing on-ramp.

As part of that tracking effort, Amway recently launched its latest Global Entrepreneurship Report, revealing groundbreaking industry research on the state of post-pandemic entrepreneurship across major markets.

The 2023 report comes at a crucial moment. To say that the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdowns impacted the American economy would be an understatement.

As the Amway report states, people began wondering what “business as usual” really meant—and what it could mean instead—sparking important conversations around the best ways to achieve flexible earning potential, ensure financial stability, and pursue an entrepreneurial passion.

So what did the report find about the motivations or hesitations associated with business ownership?

From the 10 questions posed to 15,000 individuals across 15 nations, a simple conclusion emerged: Global data shows a steady, or even increasing, interest in, acceptance of, and attraction to the idea of entrepreneurship.

According to the report, nearly six in 10 people (58%) are interested in starting their own businesses. For a large percentage of people, the question around entrepreneurship is not whether they will start a business, but when they will.

When compared with pre-pandemic data, global interest in starting a business has remained strong and steady. Across all 15 countries, there is a clear and high entrepreneurial intention, as some already own a business and others plan to start one soon.

“The state of small business ownership thrives when aspiring entrepreneurs feel they have the necessary skills and resources to take the leap—and more small businesses mean a stronger U.S. economy as a whole. Amway is proud to continue our legacy as an engine of entrepreneurship and to play a role in helping people pursue their passions,” said Andrew Schmidt, managing director, Amway North America.

Another standout statistic included in Amway’s report shows that concerns over the consistently biggest perceived barrier to starting a business—the ability to raise capital—has decreased. For those who support small business creation, that’s good news, because more entrepreneurs mean more opportunity, more economic growth, and more prosperity for everyone.

This represents the biggest change from pre-pandemic data. Raising capital is still perceived as the largest barrier for starting a business, but people see it as less of a barrier today (with 39% feeling they have the necessary resources compared to 35% in the previous report).

So, while owning a business may still feel like a leap, it doesn’t feel nearly as big as before.

Finally, e-commerce and digital technology experienced massive growth during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world became more comfortable with purchasing products through social platforms. And while traditional retail may never go away, social media shopping creates new opportunities for businesses to meet people where they are, make connections, and market what they do.

This bit of data may be of particular interest to Amway, which itself offers many of the benefits Americans rightly associate with the modern economy—namely flexibility, the opportunity to earn skills in business planning and leadership, and the ability to run a business based on one’s passions.

Judging from this data, the state of entrepreneurship—and the attitudes surrounding it—is strong. And for all the economic challenges of the past several years, to the extent that the U.S. economy rests on a foundation of small business ownership, Amway’s Global Entrepreneurship Report seems to show that we all have cause for optimism.

Note: This article was supplied by Amway.