In the recently released 2014 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, the company surveyed more than 40,000 people to gain insight about the state of self-employment around the world. This year’s survey questions explored the connection between education and entrepreneurship.

  1. Entrepreneurs can be made. The majority of respondents – 63 percent – reported that they believe entrepreneurship can be taught. That belief was strong among those under 35, with 70 percent of this age group saying self-employment is attainable for everyone. There wasn’t a gender divide on this topic, with majority of men and women – 64 percent and 63 percent, respectively – agreeing that entrepreneurship is more nurture than nature.
  2. Education is key. What are the most crucial aspect of entrepreneurship education? Topping the list was “basic business skills,” according to 42 percent of respondents. Next was “leadership and management skills” and “entrepreneurship in practice,” which garnered the nod from 37 percent of respondents. Close behind was schools and secondary education, special start-up programs and universities or higher education.
  3. Positive attitude. On average, 75 percent of respondents have positive attitudes toward entrepreneurship, reflecting an increase of 4 percent over past year’s report. Those under 35 years were the most optimistic, at 80 percent. Entrepreneurial potential remained high as well, with two out of five respondents, or 42 percent, saying they can imagine starting a business. Findings showed a correlation between these two factors: In countries where people were more positive about entrepreneurship, a higher percentage can also imagine starting a business. However, only 9 percent of global respondents are currently self-employed, creating an entrepreneurial gap of 33 percent.
  4. Freedom is motivation. When asked why they wanted to be entrepreneurs, 46 percent said “independence from an employer, being my own boss,” while 43 percent identified “self-fulfillment, possibility to realize own ideas.” Independence rather than wealth was more important younger respondents, ages 14 to 34. Researchers noted there was a variation in responses by country: the lower a country’s economic output per capita, the less important independence becomes as a driver for entrepreneurship.