Starting a business: Do you need a college degree?

Two men sit at a table with ice tea reviewing Amway business paperwork.

Can you name at least three famous entrepreneurs who don’t have college degrees?

You probably could if you thought about it. Start with the world’s most popular operating system, a social network with more than 2 billion monthly users and a wildly successful travel and entertainment empire.

Despite these billionaire success stories, college graduates often consider themselves better prepared to start a business than those without a degree.

That increased confidence level was evident in the results of the 2018 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER), based on interviews with nearly 50,000 men and women in 44 countries.

Necessary skills

When asked if they had the necessary skills to start a business, 66 percent of U.S. college graduates in the AGER survey said yes, compared to 58 percent of respondents without degrees.

What instills that confidence? Is a degree necessary to start a business? Considering the skyrocketing cost of tuition, many would answer no. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 51 percent of business owners have a college degree.

Despite that, most entrepreneurs would describe themselves as lifelong learners. The challenge is gaining the knowledge they need to reach their goals.

Only 4 in 10 people feel the education system in their country teaches people the skills they need to succeed, according to AGER. That’s slightly higher in the U.S., where 43 percent felt prepared.

It’s one reason companies like Amway have ramped up their investment in entrepreneurial education.

“The trend of individuals seeking to work independently and with greater flexibility is on the rise,” says Suzie Fiore, director of Training & Education for Amway North America.

“We know that being in business for yourself isn’t easy — it’s tough to start, grow and lead. We want to help in any way that we can. That’s why we’ve invested in the best education and training possible.”

Award-winning curriculum

The company continually invests in updating its course material so it reflects the changing times. The result is more concise and targeted programs that can be accessed from a phone or laptop.

New Amway Independent Business Owners (IBOs) can learn about the fundamentals of selling and starting a business, while veteran IBOs can access in-depth courses on topics targeted to their advanced levels, like leadership.

The company has been recognized for its top-notch training program. In 2017, Amway Education garnered the Silver award in the Brandon Hall Group Excellence in Sales and Marketing Awards for Best Unique or Innovative Sales Training Program.

That support is one of the appeals of Amway for many business owners – whether they earned a college degree or not.

Alberto Mayagoitia, who became an Amway IBO while working as an actor, also relied on the company’s training. His acting success started in his teens and his fame helped him with his Amway business, reaching a leadership level by age 25.

But he felt he still had a lot to learn. “I didn’t mature as a person,” Alberto said. So he sought out more training and education.

“I learned everything I could about running a business and started taking advantage of the training Amway offered to better myself,” he said.

It was exactly what he needed to prepare him, and more than two decades later he continues to be a lifelong learner while enjoying the successes of his business.

“I govern my own calendar, I work my business, continue my education, travel with my family, enjoy acting and producing films and live life on my terms,” he said.

Want to learn more about Amway and its training programs? Visit


  • Joretta says:

    I would like to re-join Amway, I was an IBO in the 2000-or so . what do I need to do?

    • Amway Connections says:

      Hi Joretta, welcome back! The easiest way is by contacting customer service. They will be happy to guide you through the process. You can call them at 1-800-253-6500 or email at [email protected]. Good luck!

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