South Africa ZA  


2015.12.03 - 


What country has the highest entrepreneurial spirit? Which characteristics do people associate with entrepreneurs? And how do these manifest
across countries and cultures? Answers to these questions catalyzed the 2015 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER).
South Africa has been ranked second out of 44 markets which are entrepreneurship friendly and has also ranked one of the top ten countries, amongst India, China, Slovenia, Turkey, Thailand, Mexico, Malaysia, Brazil and Vietnam, with a large population that desires to start their own businesses,
according to the 2015 AGER which was launched today.

Looking at the attitudes and values that define entrepreneurs, examining traits that are typical of anentrepreneurial spirit as well as how these characteristics manifest across countries and cultures, the 2015 AGER indicates that 76 percent of South Africans consider starting a business as a
desirable career opportunity for themselves. More so, 73 percent of the population have shown a very strong stability against social pressure, while another 73 percent possesses the necessary skills and resources to start a business.
“There are two critical factors to becoming an entrepreneur, the first is the emergence of the entrepreneurial opportunity and the second is the intention to start a business. Through the 2015 AGER, we are exploring motivations and mindsets with the intention to ultimately create a more
supportive world for entrepreneurs to start up, succeed and sustain their own businesses,” says Raj Parshotam, General Manager at Amway South Africa.

Now in its sixth year, this research takes the public pulse of the state of self-employment around the world. The 2015 AGER delves into the key characteristics of entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit and introduces the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (AESI). The AESI measures
entrepreneurial spirit in three dimensions including desirability (whether respondents desire to start a business), feasibility (whether respondents feel prepared to start a business) and stability (whether respondents would let their social environment, such as family and friends, dissuade them from
starting a business) against social pressure derived from acclaimed psychologist Icek Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior.

Using the AESI measurement, the report shows that the average for all 44 countries is 51 percent and 55 percent of the average expressed desire to become entrepreneurs, while 47 percent felt prepared for entrepreneurship and 49 percent would not allow their social networks to dissuade
them. Men have higher scores (54 percent) compared to women who scored 47 percent, and those who are 35 years scored highest among age groups.
Professor Boris Urban of Wits Business School explains “South African entrepreneurs can be described foremost as open for change. Approximately, 79 percent of South African have a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, and are slightly more positive when compared to the
international average (75 percent)”.

“In particular the 35 to 49 years show a slightly more positive attitude towards entrepreneurship than every other age group. Independence from an employer and self-fulfillment remain the most appealing aspects to start up an own business. On the other hand, for 85 percent of South Africans, the fear of failing is an obstacle to starting a business, which is above the international average (70 percent)” says Professor Urban.
From a global perspective, the fear of failure remains a significant hurdle for people who desire to start their own businesses. Financial burdens together with the threats of the economic crisis are the factors feeding this fearfulness the most. Furthermore, all factors to starting a business are less
appealing in countries with greater cultural intolerance for uncertainty. In countries with higher economic output, people rate self-fulfillment as a much stronger driver for entrepreneurship.
The first survey launched in 2010 as the Amway European Entrepreneurship Report, and it expanded worldwide with the 2013 AGER, encompassing 24 countries. This year’s report spans over 44 countries with telephonic interviews conducted with nearly 50, 000 men and women aged 14 to 99.
“The entrepreneurial spirit in South Africa, and around the world, is clearly and convincingly alive. The desire to start a business is there, and now we need to use these insights to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and provide opportunities that will see our economy grow,” concludes Parshotam.

Entrepreneurial potential remains high.
Two in five respondents (43 percent) could imagine starting a business. Men (47 percent) were considerably more willing than women (38 percent). University degree holders and those under 35 years (each 51 percent) showed the most potential. All this said, however, just 10 percent were
currently self-employed, sustaining the entrepreneurial gap of 33 percent from 2014.

The Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index measures attitude and potential.
The AESI measures three dimensions that influence a person’s intention to start a business. The average for all countries was 51, calculated as the mean of the three areas measuring desirability, feasibility and stability against social pressure: 55 percent of the average expressed the desire to
become an entrepreneur; 47 percent felt prepared for entrepreneurship; and 49 percent would not allow their social networks to dissuade them. Men (54) had higher scores than women (47), and those 35 years scored highest among age groups.

Correlated with AGER results, AESI scores revealed that countries with a higher entrepreneurial spirit exhibited more positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship and higher entrepreneurial potential and rates of self-employment.

Top traits of entrepreneurs: curious, upbeat, in charge.
Respondents believed entrepreneurs “like to learn things” (84 percent), “want to enjoy life” (78 percent) and “like to be in charge and tell others what to do” (75 percent). They also characterize business owners as people who “look for adventures and like to take risks” (70 percent), “think the
safety of their country is very important” (70 percent) and “like to stand out and impress other people” (68 percent). Those under 35 years (73 percent) are more convinced that entrepreneurs like to “impress others” than any other age group.

Independence and ideas are valued above all.
The two most compelling factors for starting a business were “independence from an employer, being my own boss” (48 percent) and “self-fulfillment, possibility to realize own ideas” (44 percent), confirming 2014 results. Respondents under 35 years held the strongest belief in “independence” at 53 percent.
It’s noteworthy that all factors to starting a business were less appealing in countries with greater cultural intolerance for uncertainty. Further, in countries with higher economic output, respondents rate self-fulfillment as a much stronger driver for entrepreneurship.

Fear of failure is a continuing obstacle.
Echoing 2013 results when AGER first posed this question, the fear of failure remained a significant hurdle (70 percent). Men and women were equally fearful and, in most countries, younger people were most afraid. “Financial burdens” (41 percent) and “threat of the economic crisis” (29 percent) were the factors feeding this fearfulness most.

Positivity prevails, again.
Affirming 2014 results, 75 percent held positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship. In 2015, 81 percent of respondents under 35 years were the most optimistic. Men and women shared similar positivity, at 76 and 74 percent respectively.

About the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER)
Amway conducted the 2015 AGER in partnership with the Chair of Strategy and Organization at the Technische Universität München in Germany. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung in Nuremberg from May to August 2015. This year’s report spans 44 countries,
with 49,775 respondents aged 14-99. The AGER’s key findings are shared with the scientific community, including the 44 AGER academic advisors around the world, European and national think tanks, NGOs, academic and public
institutions as well as policy advisors.
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About Amway™ Europe and South Africa
Amway is one of the leading family-owned consumer goods companies worldwide, selling more than 400 high quality products in the categories beauty, wellness and home care through independent distributors to the end consumer. The company was founded in 1959 in Ada, United States and operates in more than 100 countries and territories generating a revenue of 10,8 billion USD in 2014. Amway’s top-selling brands are NUTRILITE™ vitamin, mineral and dietary supplements, ARTISTRY™ skincare and color cosmetics, and eSpring™ water treatment systems.
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AMWAY SOUTH AFRICA,                                        L.L.C. OP FLEISHMANHILLARD
Julia Lutter-Müller                                                     Ulwazi Mgwadleka
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