DSA South Africa celebrates 40 years

Job creation, skills development and social upliftment are vital elements of much needed economic growth in our country, and it is these three keywords that are synonymous with direct selling worldwide.

The direct selling industry in South Africa provides income opportunities to more than 1.2 million people and the DSA estimates that more than 300,000 additional independent direct sellers could become involved over the next 3 years. Total value in product sales in 2010 amounted to over R7-4-billion.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary and marking 40 years of job creation, the DSA South Africa is holding a spectacular event at the Sandton Sun Conference Centre, Sandton Sun Hotel, Johannesburg, on 23 May and over 400 industry guests are expected to attend. An exciting line-up of entertainment, guest speakers and industry awards will be the order of the day, in addition to the giving away of 40 luxurious hampers filled with products donated by its member companies to lucky prize draw winners. Latest local industry statistics from the 2011 financial year will be presented at the event. Guests include members of government, media and academic leaders as well as executives and top direct sellers from DSA member companies.

“We are excited about our 40th celebration event as it will not only be a festive occasion for industry colleagues to enjoy together but also a showcase for the DSA to highlight the benefits of direct selling and the positive effect of income generation and entrepreneurial opportunities offered to all South Africans,” says Richard Clarke, DSA Chairman, South Africa.

“Where the government and formal business were not able to generate the required thousands of jobs per year, the direct selling industry is kick-starting careers, creating businesses and giving entrepreneurs formal business skills in a risk free environment that will ensure their success,” says Clarke.

DSA vice-chairman Ernest du Toit says the direct selling industry also provides training and skills development for the lead distributors that sees them improve their leadership, financial, business and sales skills, whilst working and earning an income.

The success of the direct selling industry in South Africa is based on the industry’s open-door approach that offers low barriers to entry, the reassurance of a sheltered, mentored learning environment, and a virtually risk-free earning opportunity to people of all ages, all races and from all economic backgrounds, making it a perfect recipe for South Africa’s fight against unemployment.

Statistics show the success rate for new business start-ups in the formal sector are dismal – approximately 97% of new ventures fail within the first two years. Add to this the economic downturn, and the future looks dismal for entrepreneurs.

Over the past two decades, however, the direct selling industry has been one of the highest job-creation industries in the South African economy. Offering a “soft landing” for people entering the industry, the direct selling business model provides the requisite knowledge, skills, learning, management, processes and systems that have been proven over time, and are backed by relevant market research, advertising and promotional programmes already in place. The capital investment required to start up is minimal, relative to the benefits that can be achieved.

And for this, we celebrate