Amway report shows upbeat view of entrepreneurship

Updated 2016-12-21 10:01:23 Shanghai Daily

Amway's latest entrepreneurship report has indicated that more prospects are showing an inclination to become self-employed while the spirit of entrepreneurship is still upbeat in China.

The 2016 study finds 77 percent of prospects have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship.

Industry watchers and economists shared their opinions about the latest startup trends during a forum featuring mass entrepreneurship co-hosted by Sina and Amway China last week, which also saw the official launch of the seventh annual Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report.

The Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index in China fell five points from a year ago to 74 points while 77 percent of prospects said they're considering starting a business as a desirable career opportunity for themselves.

A total of 39 percent of prospects worldwide see self-employment more likely in five years than today and 56 percent feel comfortable searching for and acquiring customers, which is a key element of self-employment.

This year's report spans 45 countries and regions, with in-person and telephone interviews conducted with more than 50,000 men and women aged between 14 and 99.

Independence and self-fulfillment are the most appealing aspects to start a business.

As high as 86 percent of Chinese prospects hold a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship and 50 percent see themselves more likely to be self-employed full-time or part-time compared to their current situation.

Amway has been pushing forward the development of the entrepreneurship culture and has been making continuous efforts to allow more and more users and consumers to become self-employed entrepreneurs since its founding 57 years ago, said Zhai Minghe, chief public affairs officer at Amway China.

"Supporting entrepreneurship and creating opportunities for the most common consumers is a spirit deeply rooted in Amway's culture," she added.

Last year, Amway launched a platform to support those with a desire to start their own business with relatively small cost and low risk, which comprised four major systems — product branding, mobile e-commerce, customer experience and learning and development.

Amway's offline demonstration sites have also been serving as community activity centers in order to allow consumers immerse in Amway's products, corporate culture and lifestyle.

The learning center also provides training courses to offer tailor-made startup plans for those who want to build their own businesses.

Wang Ruhua, director of media affairs at Amway China, said some of Amway's marketing personnel have been combining their personal interest with their careers to develop community interest groups such as food and culinary culture, beauty and cosmetics, fitness and body exercising, among others.

Zheng Xinli, deputy director of China Center for International Economic Exchanges, said China's economic shift toward lifestyle services provides enormous opportunities for startups, and the tertiary industry still has growth potential in the next few years.

"We should further encourage entrepreneurship to push forward the development of emerging industries and high-tech industries," he noted.

Xu Shanda, head of the SEEC Research Institute, said: "As economic growth moderates and external demand weakens, entrepreneurship and startup firms will play an increasingly important role for the new economic development model."

Startup companies add more technology elements and have been contributing to the shift toward a new economic development model, he added.

"However, more policy support needs to be unveiled such as tax preferential measures and supportive rules for venture capital firms to protect new technologies and business models."

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