Positivity and Interest Soar With Canadian Entrepreneurs


LONDON, ON, Nov. 18, 2015 /CNW/ - "Like to learn things," "want to enjoy life," "look for adventures and like to take risks" – these traits tell the story of how Canadians perceive entrepreneurs, as revealed in the 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER).

It's an optimism that permeates the research again this year, with 86 percent of Canadians expressing positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship, up seven percent from 2014 and a remarkable 11 percent more than the 2015 global average. Interest spiked too, with 43 percent of Canadians said they could imagine starting a business, a sizeable boost from last year (36 percent). These increases are indicative of the country's thriving – and growing – entrepreneurial spirit.

"This year's AGER affirms Canada's growing interest in entrepreneurship," notes Dr. Derek Hassay, professor of entrepreneurial thinking, Haskayne School of Business. "Attitudes were highest among Gen X and Gen Y respondents, which reflects the pop culture and media coverage of successful young tech entrepreneurs, as well as the increased entrepreneurship programming in Canada's post-secondary institutions."

Now in its sixth year, the AGER takes the public pulse of the state of self-employment around the world. The 2015 study delves into the key characteristics of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit, debuting the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (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.

When correlated with AGER results, AESI scores reveal that countries with a higher entrepreneurial spirit also are more positive toward entrepreneurship and have higher entrepreneurial potential and rates of self-employment. With a score of 50, Canada aligned with the international AESI average (51), yet Canadians ranked feasibility first among the three dimensions (59 percent) – nearly six out of 10 say they are prepared to own a business, in sharp contrast to the worldwide average, where feasibility ranks third.

"Canadians embrace entrepreneurship and are proud to amplify a strong entrepreneurial spirit," commends Lydia Ayora, Amway Canada country manager. "AGER shows that Canadians see entrepreneurs as curious, upbeat risk-takers who confidently pursue their own ideas. These findings affirm what we know to be true about our Amway business owners. It's inspiring."

2015 Key Findings
The groundbreaking 2015 AGER spans 44 countries, with in-person and telephone interviews conducted with nearly 50,000 men and women aged 14-99. Key Canadian findings include:

Entrepreneurial potential on the rise.
Two in five Canadians (43 percent) could imagine starting a business – up 13 percent from 2014 (36 percent). Men (52 percent) were considerably more apt than women (35 percent) to seek entrepreneurship, and university graduates and those under 35 years (each 46 percent) showed the most potential. All this said, however, just 14 percent were currently self-employed, creating an entrepreneurial gap of 29 percent.

The Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index, an indicator of attitude and potential.
Canada's AESI score was 50, just shy of the global score (51), and calculated as the mean of desire, feasibility and stability against social pressure: 47 percent of the average expressed the desire to become an entrepreneur, 59 percent felt prepared for entrepreneurship and 43 percent would not allow their social networks to dissuade them from starting a business. Men (53) scored higher than women (46) and 35 to 49 year olds were highest among age groups (52).

Top traits of entrepreneurship: curious, upbeat, supportive, striving for reputation.
Canadians believed that entrepreneurs "like to learn things" (95 percent), "want to enjoy life" (91 percent) and "look for adventures and like to take risks" (86 percent). They also characterize business owners as people who "want to help people" (77 percent) and "like to stand out and impress other people" (76 percent) and "like to be in charge and tell others what to do" (73 percent). Those under 35 years (87 percent) are more convinced that entrepreneurs like to "impress others" than any other age group.

Ideas and independence are above all.
The most appealing aspects for owning a business were "self-fulfillment, possibility to realize own ideas" (86 percent) and "independence from an employer, being my own boss" (84 percent), an inverse of both global and U.S. results ("independence" – world: 48 percent; U.S.: 75 percent and "self-fulfillment" -- world: 44 percent; U.S.: 72 percent).

Fear of failure is a continuing obstacle.
Canadians identify fear of failure as a significant hurdle to business ownership (69 percent). Men and women were nearly equally fearful, at 68 and 69 percent, as were those under 35 years (72 percent) and 35 to 49 years old (71 percent). "Financial burdens" (45 percent) and "threat of the economic crisis" (22 percent) were the factors feeding this fearfulness most.

Positivity prevails, again.
Yet, despite their fears, an impressive 86 percent of Canadians were positive toward entrepreneurship, an increase of seven percent from 2014 and 11 percent more than the 2015 international average. Those under 35 years (94 percent) and university graduates (92 percent) were most optimistic. Likewise, entrepreneurial potential significantly rose, with 43 percent saying they can imagine starting a business, versus 36 percent in 2014.

"Canadians are significantly and more positively convinced of the benefits of entrepreneurship than many of their North American and European contemporaries," adds Hassay. "The vast majority see it as a particularly fulfilling career path because entrepreneurship allows for the pursuit of own ideas, perhaps suggesting that traditional employment stifles self-expression and/or innovation."

Visit amwayentrepreneurshipreport.com for more information and contact Carmela.Ianni@amway.com for Canadian research details.

About the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER)
The 2015 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management, TUM 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 44 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions.

About Amway™
Amway is a $10.8 billion direct selling business based in Ada, Michigan, USA. Top-selling brands for Amway are Nutrilite™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, Artistry™ skincare and color cosmetics, and eSpring™ water treatment systems – all sold exclusively by Amway Business Owners. Global sales in 2014 made Amway the #1 direct selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2015 Global 100. For company news, visit globalnews.amway.com.

SOURCE Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER)

Image with caption: "Amway™ (CNW Group/Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151118_C4186_PHOTO_EN_546726.jpg

Image with caption: "Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER) (CNW Group/Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER))". Image available at: https://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151118_C4186_PHOTO_EN_546792.jpg

For further information: Carmela Ianni, 519.685.7888 x7925, Carmela.Ianni@amway.com

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