Gender conversations are increasingly becoming the norm around the world, forcing people to rethink how different industries and organizations can create space for more women to grow and succeed. Direct selling is one of the leading industries that speaks volumes by creating increasing opportunities for women to become entrepreneurs and thrive. In fact, according to the Direct Selling Association of India’s 2020-2020 Annual Survey, the number of active direct sellers increased to 7.9 million, of which 47 percent were women.
So, what are the key benefits of direct selling for women aspiring to start their own business? It is the absence of important obstacles such as lack of capital, time and skill upgrading. That’s why more women are choosing to turn direct selling into an opportunity for success that doesn’t compromise work-life balance, family values, or personal growth. In 2021, 74.4% of direct sales representatives were women. Whether a woman dreams of building a multi-million dollar business or simply wants to make enough extra money to send her daughter to dance classes, direct selling opens the door for her.
Let’s go behind the scenes to understand other aspects that make direct selling popular and lucrative for women entrepreneurs.
A distributed model that grows independently
A study by SBI and YouGov in early 2022 found that being financially independent is among the top three priorities of women in India. Patriarchal concepts, unpaid work, security and earning power are the daily concerns of most of these women.
When women enter business, they carry thousands of years of oppression within them. However, they can leave that baggage behind when they walk through the doors of direct sales. Because this is the path where entrepreneurially minded people build their own businesses with low startup and overhead costs, fueled by passion, profit, and the desire to sell great products and services. Direct selling is an ecosystem of entrepreneurs who support each other in their growth. The women work with legitimate direct selling companies that sell everything from home goods, beauty tools, and supplements to other consumer products.
Being more socially active, women can also engage with their wide network of friends and neighbors to display and sell their products. By allowing them to use their existing social and entrepreneurial skills, direct selling not only gives them confidence in their sales abilities, but also gradually and carefully helps them overcome many of the limiting beliefs that prevent them from experiencing financial freedom. go away
Low investment = more possibility to build a thriving business
Funding challenges – such as lower loan amounts for female entrepreneurs and the myth that phones, banks and services are too smart for women – limit how much women can invest in their businesses and reduce their potential. Direct sales of products and materials provide women with a quick start of income at minimal cost. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the low cost of entry into direct selling empowers women in impoverished regions to lead the world’s highest rates of entrepreneurial activity. Compared to retail investments, direct selling costs represent a fraction of the costs of renting storage space and purchasing inventory to set up a store.
Freedom to decide your schedule and priorities
The struggle to balance personal/family commitments with running a business is real, and it’s only gotten more serious with this pandemic, especially for women who are also mothers.
Direct selling is at the other end of the spectrum. Although this industry requires the same commitment and effort as other business models, it empowers women to set their own agendas. They can fit his work in with his other commitments. The greater convenience of technology and e-commerce gives them the flexibility and independence to build businesses at their own pace.
As for resilience, both direct sales and women have that quality to rely on. The direct selling model adapts quickly and efficiently to changing market conditions—even pandemics—while still delivering the products consumers want. During the height of COVID-19, a new generation of direct sellers was able to use mobile technology and e-commerce to explore new opportunities in this tried and tested distribution model.
As many industries have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, direct sales set a record $76 billion in sales in Asia alone in 2020, according to WFDSA’s 2021 report. Countries such as India and Kazakhstan showed some of the highest annual growth in the region. The global direct selling industry was worth more than $180 billion. And—not surprisingly—women generate a large portion of this wealth.
Steer your ship with proper skill and education
Direct selling does not require specialized skills to get started. However, many direct selling companies offer training, mentoring, and education to their independent representatives to develop the skills and knowledge needed to run successful businesses as well as personal growth.
Digital India’s alignment with technology is shaping the new norm for the industry. In addition to using technology for marketing and distribution, companies are increasingly investing in online training and development tools that are creating self-sustaining transparent business models in entrepreneurship, with better governance.
Women in Direct Selling – Forces to be reckoned with
Today, direct selling companies around the world are known for breaking glass ceilings and focusing on nurturing and empowering women leaders around the world. Multinational giants are actively investing in digital-based direct selling platforms, leveraging their largest demographic and turning it into a pipeline of current and future female entrepreneurs.
In my opinion, this is the result of the hard work done by generations of women before us. Stay-at-home moms and enterprising young women have broken gender stereotypes to build the multi-billion dollar industry we know today. Even though I have been in the industry for over 11 years, seeing women from all walks of life never ceases to inspire me. They show passion, tenacity and drive and feel empowered when their entrepreneurial journey brings them success. By empowering women entrepreneurs, direct selling creates a stronger global economy for all. And when women are economically empowered, they drive growth, reduce income inequality, and help create a more inclusive and stronger economy for all.
Empower one, and you free the world
A famous proverb says: Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. Direct selling and women are similarly related. This industry teaches women to become independent, earn their own money and manage their time in a way that allows them to become successful entrepreneurs. And when you teach one woman in a family to rise above her current situation, you empower her future for generations to come.