Part IV of the Exclusive Interview with Amway’s Jeff Terry with Ideagen’s George Sifakis

George Sifakis: At our recent annual Ideagen European Union Delegations of U.N. Leadership 2030 Summit, you presented an in depth look at the recently released AGER, Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report. 

Jeff, could you provide us with a preview of the key themes from this report?

Jeff Terry: Absolutely. George, thanks, that’s we’ve been talking here a little bit about kind of our work to address childhood malnutrition, but to its core Amway is about enabling entrepreneurism all over the world. Not just on, again a macro scale but at a very individual level. For seven years now, we’ve been conducting a research initiative and developing what we call the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report and it’s intent is to take the temperature and understand into the appetite for individuals wanting to start businesses for themselves. We do this in more than 40 countries around the world. This past year we’ve talked over 60 thousand individuals globally.

Some of the themes that we’ve discovered entrepreneurial potential remains high. One of the key themes is two in five respondents, 43 percent could imagine starting a business. About 47 percent of men and about 38 percent of women are willing to consider starting a business for themselves. This remains high, we’ve seen this as a theme for four years. We also recognize that those individuals under 35 years old, more than 50 percent of them actually seems starting a business for themselves as a part of their employment journey. That’s very interesting.

I think trends that we see or traits that we see in individuals that ultimately take that step in becoming entrepreneurs are those that are curious, upbeat, and really wanting to be in charge of their lives. Eighty five percent of individuals basically who are entrepreneurs believe that they live their life to learn.

Their learning potential, their interest in learning is something that is of great ongoing interest to them. That is correlated with taking that spark and turning that into a business opportunity for themselves.

Independence and ideas are really valued above all. This is a theme that we saw come out of this this year. Wanting to really be your own boss, almost 50 percent of individuals that ultimately are considering about starting a business for themselves are really about that. The interesting thing, George, about this is that this is data from many countries and we break this data down at the country level.

The one big thing that I was very excited to have shared at the Ideagen EU Leadership 2030 Summit was this new element of the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, and that is the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index. It measures attitude and it measures potential and we’ve done this across all of these companies.

What we’ve seen is the average for all countries is about 51, which calculated is the mean of three areas; measuring desirability, feasibility, and stability against social pressure. What I mean by that, is 55 percent of the individuals that we talk to on average express the desire to become an entrepreneur, 47 percent felt prepared for entrepreneurship, and 49 percent would not allow the social networks, their social networks, to dissuade them from doing this.

Of all the age groups interested that have and are kind of acting upon this entrepreneurial spirit those in the 35 year old age range scored highest among all the age groups.

I’m going to be talking a lot more about the Amway Entrepreneurial Spirit Index because this about attitudinally understanding that which is driving people from thinking about doing something to actually doing something in starting a business for themselves. We’ve broken this down by gender, we break it down by age group.

George Sifakis: You’ve cited many examples of the impact Amway is having across the planet incredible perspective on how the company, and with your leadership as head of Global Corporate Social Responsibility, is taking the whole notion of empowerment and impact to that very next level. That leads us to what is a very important question at all of our Ideagen Ideas Leader interviews which is Jeff, what are the three key lessons you have learned that have potential to change the world?

Jeff Terry: George, it’s a great question. I think first and foremost build on something we were talking about a little bit earlier and that’s we can’t do things by ourselves. It’s really important to understand and know, and be okay with the fact that we can always continue to learn and do better when we learn and do with others. Whether it’s cross-sectoral relationships or partnerships with NGOs or governments, or individually trying to address a specific challenge right in our own lives.

Sometimes it’s okay to recognize and realize that we may not be the only person, organization, that can provide the solution. That in fact, when we bring others with us or go along with others, we can actually do more. That’s a really key important piece of this to me. It probably sits atop anything else that I’ve learned.

One other thing though George, that I’ve mentioned is really invest internally to understand what you can bring to a challenge, what you can bring in the way of solutions and focus. I think one of the things that invariably I’ve seen across many organizations and companies that I work with, is that a wide net is thrown out to look at what we could do, what we could really try to accomplish or provide solutions to.

I think when you really understand and know what your true strengths are, what your core competencies entail, the goal is to bring focus. Focus in time, focus in resources, and dollars, and attention to really deploying your core solutions around what you can bring best to the table. Then find those who complement and leverage their core competencies so that, again back to the first point on this, together we can do more but bring what you do extraordinarily well.

I think thirdly is just be open to change. Change is a critical thing. We don’t live in a risk free world. We don’t live in a change free world. We need to be open to taking risks. You need to be open to failing, but learning from those failures. Failing is not a bad thing, it’s actually a very good thing. It helps you grow, it helps your company and organizations grow.

Be open to change, take risks, partner and focus on your core competencies. There’s the three key things that I would say have helped me in the work that I’ve done and really helped to provide solutions I’ve been a part of, with a lot more work to go.

George Sifakis: Jeff Terry, Amway. What is up next for Amway?

Jeff Terry: I think the one thing that’s up next is we’ve talked about entrepreneurship, we’ve talked about our expertise in health and addressing childhood malnutrition.

How about if we bring all of those together and really think about how we can use market forces, engage small business and entrepreneurs around the world to take on this big health issues. That’s where we’re going. Our future is really thinking about taking our collective, our two focuses of expertise around nutrition and around entrepreneurship, and putting them together to really, not just improve health but also into improve livelihoods well into the future.

George Sifakis: Jeff Terry, truly changing the world. Amway, absolutely changing the world together, what an incredible impact. How can folks find out more about Amway, Jeff?

Jeff Terry: You can find more about us, you can go to Amway.com. Certainly to find out about the Power of 5, you can go to the powerof5.nutrilite.com and there’s great information on the issues that we’re taking on and what you can do to help.

George Sifakis: Jeff Terry from Amway, thank you for all you’re doing to change the world and thank you to Amway

Jeff Terry: Thanks, George.

George Sifakis: Thank you for the inspiration

10/03/2016 09:13 am ET