The global economy is reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine War. According to the International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook 2022, “…economic damage from the conflict will contribute to a significant slowdown in global growth in 2022 and add to inflation. Fuel and food prices have increased rapidly, hitting vulnerable populations in low-income countries hardest. Global growth is projected to slow from an estimated 6.1 percent in 2021 to 3.6 percent in 2022 and 2023.”
Economic empowerment of people across the world continues to be negatively affected. Worst hit, are young people. Almost 90% of all young people live in developing countries and they are approximately three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. Although, this is partly because their limited work experience counts against them when they are applying for entry-level jobs, there are also major structural barriers preventing young people from entering the labour market.
Globally, one-fifth of young people currently have NEET status (Not in Employment, Education or Training), which means they are neither gaining experience in the labour market, nor receiving an income from work, nor enhancing their education and skills. Clearly, their full potential is not being realized. In the next decade, one billion young people will enter the labour market, and large numbers of young people face a future of irregular and informal employment.
All these statistics point to the need for alternative means of livelihood/source of income and entrepreneurship comes to mind readily. Barriers against young people having access to decent jobs are many, but entrepreneurship has proven over time to be the panacea for unemployment in many instances. However, for most of these young people to embrace or consider entrepreneurship as an option, it must not be capital-intensive. One of the least capital-intensive entrepreneurial venture the youth can engage readily in, is the direct selling industry.
The latest Direct Selling Report, published by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), shows global direct sales increased by 2.3% from US$175.3 billion in 2019 to US$179.3 billion in 2020. Global projection for economic growth in 2021 to 6%, up from 5.5%, and projects 4.4% growth in 2022.
But with all these projections, QNET experienced a record-breaking growth of up to 65% in some African markets. The increased demand for online shopping and the transition to digital played to the company’s strengths: high-quality personal relationships and a high-performing e-commerce platform.
The direct selling business was the original gig economy business before tech companies made this form of flexible employment opportunities popular in recent years. Many businesses around the world use the direct selling business model to promote unique products and services in categories such as wellness and nutrition, personal and beauty care, home care products etc.
For many people, direct selling offers them a great platform to become micro entrepreneurs and build a sales business promoting such products when they sign up as distributors of direct selling companies. The direct selling industry’s continued growth is not surprising. Historically, this industry has always experienced growth during economic recessions.
During shaky economic times, people have a renewed awareness of the need to establish more income streams and for those who are looking to start a business, direct selling offers an attractive opportunity to start one that does not require a lot of capital or the need to deal with operational and logistics hassles.
Companies with health and wellness products, such as QNET, experienced a significant boost in their sales thanks to increased awareness and personal health concerns brought on by the pandemic. These products took the lead in global direct sales at US$64.8 billion. This trend will likely persist in the following years.
Recently, QNET outdoored an enhanced range of products. This provides more alluring opportunity for young people to sell and earn commission on sales made.
Excuses made by young people regarding their state of joblessness may no longer hold water, as QNET and other technologically-driven businesses keep creating entrepreneurship opportunities through direct selling.
E-commerce is booming, direct selling is helping young people remove barriers to entrepreneurship and high cost of setting up a business. There has never been a better time to join Direct Selling than now.