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Entrepreneurship In Canada Gains Strength As Attitudes And Confidence In Self-Employment Rise

Entrepreneurship In Canada Gains Strength As Attitudes And Confidence In Self-Employment Rise – “Self-fulfillment,” “independence from an employer,” and “an opportunity to realize one’s own ideas,” – these are just a few of the key aspects of entrepreneurship Canadians are drawn to when starting their own businesses.

The seventh annual Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), published today, measures the public pulse of self-employment around the world. The 2016 study finds 88 percent of Canadian respondents have a positive attitude toward entrepreneurship compared to the global average of 77 percent.

The continued optimism from 2015 is dependent upon age, gender and education levels and may explain the increasing importance of global trends like the gig economy – also known as the sharing economy, on-demand economy, peer-to-peer economy, freelance nation, among others. By any name, the trend of individuals seeking independence from an employer with greater flexibility is on the rise. The 2016 AGER results support this trend, with 45 percent of Canadian respondents seeing self-employment more likely in five years than today and 62 percent feeling comfortable searching for and acquiring customers – a critical element of self-employment.

“Canadians clearly support, respect and appreciate the role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in the economy with an overwhelming majority of Canadians holding a positive attitude towards entrepreneurship,” says Professor Dr. Derek Hassay, University of Calgary Haskayne School of Business, Amway Canada’s AGER educational advisor. “Perhaps most importantly, Canadians regardless of age, gender or education hold strong positive views about entrepreneurship most of which mirror or exceed the international average.”

2016 Key Findings – While the future of work appears to be shifting more toward entrepreneurship than ever before, there are noticeable trends across gender, age and education levels.

Gender Impacts Desirability and Confidence in Starting a Business. – Although 43 percent of respondents in Canada could imagine starting a business (global average 43 percent), males ranked higher in their attitude toward entrepreneurship (90 percent) compared to females (87 percent). With respect to gender, 52 percent of males are more likely to start a business compared to 34 percent of females. However, across both genders, the overall desire to start a business has remained the same in Canada compared to 2015. Only 56 percent of female respondents are comfortable searching and acquiring customers compared to 68 percent of males.

Education Affects Attitudes Toward Entrepreneurship. – Education appears to have an influence on entrepreneurial potential among Canadian respondents. University graduates (94 percent) are more positive toward entrepreneurship than those without a degree (85 percent). Degreed respondents (49 percent) also believe they are more likely to be self-employed in the next five years than those without a degree (43 percent). Similarly, both groups identically ranked their top reasons for starting a business as self-fulfillment independence and second income prospects. Furthermore, education levels had a slight difference in their confidence in acquiring customers as university graduates (64 percent) and non-graduates (60 percent).

Younger Generations Show Stronger Entrepreneurial Optimism. – Younger generations are more positive that entrepreneurship in Canada is on the rise compared to older generations. Canadian respondents under the age of 35 years show a significantly higher desire to starting their own business (91 percent) compared to those over the age of 50 (84 percent). Interestingly, confidence in one’s own capabilities of starting a business peaks (59 percent) for respondents between the ages of 35 and 49 years. Interestingly. Respondents under 35 years are also slightly less convinced that self-employment will be more prevalent in the future (41 percent), compared to those who are 35 to 49 years (43 percent) and those over the age of 50 are the most convinced (49 percent).

The AGER also once again features the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index (AESI). Introduced in 2015, the AESI builds on the theory of planned behavior and measures three dimensions that influence a person’s intention to start a business: desirability, feasibility and stability against social pressure. This year, the Canadian AESI score was 51, on the same level last year’s score, and the same as his year’s global score of 50. Additionally:

50 percent of Canadian respondents have the desire to become an entrepreneur
56 percent are convinced they are prepared for entrepreneurship
46 percent would not lose hope of their dreams of starting a business, if family and friends stood in their way.

In general, men had higher AESI scores (55 percent) compared to women (46 percent), however the gap continues to shrink. Education seems to have little influence on the overall AESI score as those with a university degree had a score of 52, compared to those without a university degree at 50 percent.

Full results and more information about AGER can be found here.

About the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER)
The first iteration of AGER launched in 2010 as the Amway European Entrepreneurship Report, then expanded worldwide with the 2013 AGER, encompassing 24 countries. This year’s report spans 45 countries, with in-person and telephone interviews conducted with more than 50,000 men and women aged 14-99.

The 2016 AGER was conducted by Amway, in partnership with Prof. Dr. Isabell M. Welpe from the Chair of Strategy and Organization of the School of Management, Technical University of Munich, Germany. Fieldwork was completed by the Gesellschaft fuer Konsumforschung, Nuremberg, from April through June. Results are shared with the scientific community, including the 45 AGER academic advisors and all interested think tanks and academic and public institutions.

Amway is a $9.5 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 2015 made Amway the No. 1 direct selling business in the world, according to the Direct Selling News 2016 Global 100. The company’s annual sales figure includes revenue from direct selling operations and other business holdings.

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