Higher Education and Manufacturing

Amway offers summer school for business owners

Company’s online program aims at expanding business skills through educational resources.

July 28, 2017
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School is in for the summer, and Amway Education is offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to expand their education through 10 new video courses.

Amway Education’s course content, normally only available for independent business owners (IBOs) registered with Amway, will be available online to all visitors until Labor Day. New video content will explore concepts like proper business etiquette or how to understand retail margins. There are nearly 100 short videos available in the program.

The Ada-based direct selling company has long been in the business of educating IBOs. The company chose to launch a remodeled education program earlier this year with the goal to meet IBOs in different stages of business development, whether they were looking to start their own business or expand one they’ve already developed. The content, based on entrepreneurial experience and expertise, teaches viewers important business strategies like, how to build a business, develop leadership skills and use social media to expand one’s business.

“The trend of individuals seeking to work independently and with greater flexibility is on the rise,” said Suzie Fiore, director of training and education for Amway North America. “We know that being in business for yourself isn’t easy; it’s tough to start, grow and lead. That’s why Amway has invested in the best education and training possible.”

In addition to video content, Amway Education provides the online quiz, “What’s your Learning Personality?” which serves to help entrepreneurs better understand how they manage their businesses. The quiz is based around five “personas,” or business management styles.

The Seeker is someone with a constant desire to absorb knowledge and discover new business strategies to expand his or her expertise.

The Juggler has little time to devote to a single task and, instead, regularly manages a long list of tasks and completes them in a timely and professional manner. Jugglers must usually have superior organizational skills.

The Cornerstone is an industry veteran who has developed a wide range of diverse skills and strategies in business management. Cornerstones usually have a strong eye for detail and adapt readily to a changing business environment.

The All-Star is someone who is hands-on and committed to seeing projects to the end. All-Stars believe that sustained success is the only true success.

The Coach is a natural leader, with ambitions beyond simply starting a business. Coaches can tap into a network of multiple colleagues who can independently manage vital projects on their behalf.

“The learning personas identified reflect today’s busy adult lifestyle, general consumer behavior, IBO traits and characteristics, and the areas in between,” Fiore said.

Students who take the quiz will be recommended video content that matches their persona. The videos are designed to cater to the specific strengths and weaknesses of each learning personality. An instructional video on reading body language will be recommended to a Juggler, or a video on customer follow-up and relationship building would be suitable for an All-Star.

Fiore said, though the program is relatively young, it already has gained critical claim from industry experts.

"Continued education is critical to developing entrepreneurial skills to both start a new business and grow an already thriving venture," said Dr. David Audretsch, professor and director of the Institute for Development Strategies at Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs and advisor to Amway Education. "The vast library of courses within Amway Education is relevant to those serious about starting a business, and the quiz is a good place to start for those who might just be curious to learn more."

According to the Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, there has been an increased positive attitude toward entrepreneurship in the U.S. in the past few years. The percentage of Americans who view entrepreneurship positively was 86 percent in 2016, a sharp increase from a recorded 56 percent in 2013.

Though positivity and interest in entrepreneurship have increased, this also has increased the demand for educational resources to get people started, one that Amway Education intends to meet with its curriculum.

“There are not enough resources available for people looking to start and run their own businesses, which has created a demand for an effective and easily accessible learning platform for entrepreneurs at all different stages of their personal and their business’s development,” Fiore said.

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