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Fear of failure? Some entrepreneurs start with anxieties.
Fear of failure? Some entrepreneurs start with anxieties. (Photo: goodluz / Fotolia.com)
  • Forschung

Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report

Encouraging Entrepreneurship By Eliminating The Fear Of Failure

Entrepreneurship continues to enjoy a high reputation worldwide. However, many people don’t put their plans into action. These are the main findings of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2013 published by Amway and the Technische Universität München (TUM). On average, more than two-thirds (70%) of the population in 24 countries have a positive attitude towards self-employment. 39% of the respondents can imagine starting their own business. A big obstacle is fear of failure: 70% of the respondents feel threatened by it. On the other hand, measures like public funding, start-up loans and entrepreneurship education are encouraging people in their decision to start-up an enterprise.

The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report 2013 surveyed more than 26,000 women and men in 24 countries worldwide. This year again, the Danish (89%) keep heading the ranking of polled countries, when it comes to positive attitude towards entrepreneurship. Second and third place go to newly added countries: Finland with 87%, and Australia follows with 84%. Like last year, respondents in Austria (40%), Hungary (40%), Portugal (39%), and Germany (37%) show the most negative attitude.

The average self-employment potential in the countries surveyed worldwide is at 39%, that is individuals who can imagine to start up their own business. It is highest in Colombia (63%), Mexico (56%), and Greece (53%), with Greece remaining the European country with great entrepreneurial will (2012: 50%). Once more decreasing, with 26% possibly starting their own business, Germany is on next-to-last place, with only Japan following (17%).

Political support is necessary

To implement above named potential, political decision makers need to help potential entrepreneurs putting their ideas into action. The number of people confirming to already be self-employed is relatively low. This could be due to the high fear of failure, hindering entrepreneurship (70%). Particularly in countries that have a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship, but cannot imagine starting a business, fear of failure displays a severe obstacle. Especially respondents in Japan (94%), Italy and Czech Republic (each 91%) are frightened of failing with an enterprise. On the contrary, the U.S. (62%), the Netherlands (55%), and Mexico (50%) show high percentages on not being afraid of failing. This fear to fail is composed by different factors, such as “financial burdens up to bankruptcy” (41%) and the “threat of the economic crisis” (31%).

“Entrepreneurship represents a necessary component of our society. Without doubt, potential entrepreneurs seek to realize their ideas and visions – but there are a number of anxieties that hinder the foundation of businesses. These fears need to be eliminated to enable more people to start up their own companies,” explains Prof. Isabell M. Welpe, Chair for Strategy and Organization, Technische Universität München (TUM).

Low-risk business models encourage entrepreneurship

The survey results also yield a clear statement about fostering motives: Respondents name being independent from an employer and realizing own ideas (43%) the dominant motives for starting a business. Income-related aspects such as second income (29%) or return to the job market (19%) were less important.

Given that, encouraging factors to the foundation of business, such as “public funding and start-up loans” (42%), “entrepreneurship education and teaching of business skills” (33%) and “mentoring, support through business networks” (27%) have to be implemented. Furthermore, countries that show a high fear to fail, also long for “low-risk business models”. In Germany (34%), Italy (29%), Hungary, Turkey, and Ukraine (each 26%) it is under the top three factors that encourage entrepreneurship.

“Amway encourages national governments and other public institutions to consider potential entrepreneurs’ interests and constraints, and to take concrete action to remove the stigma of failure,” resumes Michael Meissner, Vice President Corporate Affairs Amway Europe.

Survey Design:
Fieldwork: 8th March – 19th May 2013
Sample: 26,009 women and men aged 14-99
24 Countries: Australia, Austria, Colombia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, USA
Method: Face-to-face / telephone interviews
Institute: GfK Nürnberg, Germany

Report for download:

Prof. Dr. Isabell M. Welpe
Technische Universität München (TUM)
Chair for Strategy and Organization
Tel: +49 89 289 24814

Corporate Communications Center

Technische Universität München Klaus Becker

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