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Thai Direct Selling Association (TDSA) introduces new plans to enhance and promote the Thai Direct Selling Business

The Thai Direct Selling Association (TDSA) introduced new Committees drawn from 10 well-know member companies and an Honorary Advisor position. The Committees include: Educational Committee, Government Relation Committee, Public Relation Committee, Member Relation Committee, International Affaires Committee and Event & Activities Committee.  Mr. Kittawat Ritteerawee was elected as President of TDSA and he announced target goals and the operational plans for the July 2012 – June 2014 term.

Mr Ritteerawee, noted “ I would like to thank for all believes from companies members in giving me the honor to be the President of the Association in term of July 2012 – June 2014. I will do the best to take the full responsibility and to strengthen the Association under the new vision ‘Thai Direct Selling Association ran by members who always focus on the business ethics will be the role model and reach to international standard that guaranteed by WFDSA and make belief to the public in networking business’ “

Mr. Kittawat Ritteerawee has devised four major strategies to achieve the target goals.  The WFDSA requires that all member companies agree to the STANDARD OF ETHICS that gives direct sellers and customers alike greater confidence in the direct selling business.

Second, the TDSA is ready and eager to welcome new members whose vision and ethical standards align with theirs.

Third, the TDSA pledges to enable direct sellers to realize their business potential by continuously acknowledging the WFDSA ethics commitments.

Fourth, the TDSA who is the watchdog for the industry in Thailand, aims to spread the knowledge about direct selling industry and the opportunities it offers.

Mr. Kittawat Ritteerawee  added , “I believe that with the empowerment of all committees and the Honorary Advisor, TDSA will fully achieve its goals and objectives”

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GWEE, changing the world – one woman at a time.

Not a small goal – but one I am proud to be working toward in partnership with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations.  The Institute for International Business housed in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has joined forces with WFDSA to create the Global Solution for Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative (GWEE) with the goal of working with women entrepreneurs and business professionals in educating women at the bottom of the pyramid for greater economic impact.

Unemployment, under-employment, lack of education, lack of access all play into the world-wide depressed economic participation of women.  While these challenges impact countries at every level of development, this is especially impactful in developing and emerging economies.  We know through research the benefits of improving the economic plight of women worldwide.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Women’s Empowerment: Measuring the Global Gender Gap, “the economic participation of women—their presence in the workforce in quantitative terms—is important not only for lowering the disproportionate levels of poverty among women, but also as an important step toward raising household income and encouraging economic development in countries as a whole.”  The report goes on to outline how “a study in three widely differing countries (Bolivia, Cameroon and Malaysia) showed that, were women to have a greater say in spending priorities, they would be far more likely to spend family and community resources for improving health, education, community infrastructure and the eradication of poverty, as opposed to the military, alcohol or gambling.”

The program provides basic business and entrepreneurial skills training to women who are interested in starting a micro-business within their community.  Recruiting volunteers from the business community including the local Direct Selling Association, government ranks and other organizations, the GWEE program builds a cadre of trainers who work in surrounding communities delivering the 7-week program.  The program presents a simple framework that helps someone further define and implement their business.  Working with local officials and service providers the trainers customize the content to ensure the necessary legal and regulatory requirements are presented.

The GWEE initiative illustrates the very best in private-public sector partnerships.  Formally endorsed and supported by the APEC SME Ministerial in October 2009, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations, Direct Selling Associations and IIB are partnering with governments, women’s organizations, academia and other stakeholders and are working closely together to implement the program in various APEC countries. The program began its pilot program in 2010 with the formal launch in 2012; Peru and South Africa are in development with hopeful launches in 2013.

This program combines the need for basic business education with the recognition that it is the individual relationships and networks created through their time together that will make the difference. As we conducted our inaugural “train the trainer” session in Kuala Lumpur in 2011 the volunteer trainers enthusiastically embraced the cascading impact that this program could affect.   It begins with the stories and the fears that are shared each week as hopeful women take on new ideas and pursue unfamiliar territory in order to realize their dreams.  From this grows a new community of support and with each new idea and each broken barrier, a new level of self-confidence emerges within these women as they truly begin to believe they can improve the economic future of their families.  Finally, believing in their individual power to change their circumstances creates a momentum that will be unstoppable.

by LaVonn Schlegel
Managing Director
IU Kelley School of Business
Institute for International Business
llschleg@indiana.edu
www.kelley.iu.edu/iib

 

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What is a “company”?

A company is a business entity that uses a Direct Selling distribution system to market its products AND is a member of the DSA (Direct Selling Association). Tell us YOUR definition of company at our Facebook page!

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Nail by Nail

by Cindy Droog

A very successful singer is currently frequenting the radio waves with a song dedicated to the house she grew up in. One line that always stands out to me is how her father built the house – her mother’s dream home – “nail by nail and board by board.”

As the Advocacy Committee’s Social Media Taskforce kicks off, those lyrics are not far from the truth for us and for the WFDSA’s efforts to use this medium to help achieve its objectives.

We’ve already got the boards – the platforms in which we will engage being our Facebook page, Twitter feed, blog and newsletter. The nails that will hold them in place are our people and how they engage. Their speeches we can share; their activities to protect consumers that we can promote; and their thought leadership that we will spread. We even have a roof ready to go atop our structure. It’s the 2012-2013 goal of our social media activities: Use social technologies to help society understand and admire the direct selling industry.

But as one of my best friends, who is an interior designer, will tell you, and as the song quoted above alludes: It’s no good having the tangible items without the dream. As the chairwoman of this new taskforce, here are the components of my dream:

 

▪    That of the 90 million direct sellers around the world, one percent will be willing to share their story in a way that is company-agnostic in its benefits. I’m more of a wordsmith than a mathematician, but the power of 900,000 voices would be hard to ignore. Over time, this will chip away at the number of people who aren’t aware of our industry impact or hold negative perceptions based on outdated information.

 

▪    That the WFDSA Code of Ethics leaves the echo chamber of our industry and becomes part of a much wider conversation. Our code applies to many situations that impact the public, but we need to engage on their channels – not just ours – and make our positions known. Scanning social conversations and creating a process for what we respond to and who represents us is on our list of projects.

 

▪    That our presence in the world’s most popular social channels will provide a supportive medium to increase our industry’s and our association’s visibility with media outlets and influencers.

 

▪    Simply: that when I tell people that I work in the direct selling industry, their eyes light up. Their tone is positive. They want to know more. They give me – and you – the opportunity to provide a little on-the-spot education. That they’ll walk away inspired to learn more.

There is a lot more needed to bring the finishing touches to our “house” of social media, and we’ll talk about them in this newsletter over time. For now, let’s just say that it’s going to be a place that many will want to visit, and many, many more will want to stay. That when we add the items that bring both comfort and originality to our virtual spaces, everyone will know just how different our industry is, and how much it matters.

As the Social Media Taskforce strives to have WFDSA’s social media efforts mirror our amazing offline progress, we appreciate any input you have. Contact Cindy at any time: cynthia.droog@amway.com.

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Women behind the Wheel

by Maurtis Bruggink, SELDIA

As all those working in the direct selling sector know, our business is driven by women.  In dry numbers, the latest WFDSA/Seldia statistics show that 87% of the direct sellers come from Venus.  This is a unique characteristic of our sector and any businessman and off course businesswoman who understand this will increase his or her chances of success.

If we want to increase the direct selling sector as a whole, it seems obvious to look at getting more women into our business, as for some reason, they are thriving well under our business model.  Three obstacles need to be removed for this, according to a study prepared for the European Commission in 2008.

Firstly, we need to do away with some more traditional views on the role of women in society.  This may be for example the perception that women are less able to combine family life with professional life.  Or, women are weaker in male dominated sectors such as science, technology and innovation. These perceptions work against women entrepreneurs because they will have to do more to convince their business partners.

Secondly, women have more difficult access to finance because banks are more hesitant to loan capital to entrepreneurs who can get kids.  If capital is provided, women also have to pay higher interest rates.

Thirdly, the European study identifies a number of “soft obstacles”, like the access to business networks and business angels, the lack of training focused on women and women’s perception about themselves. The latter suggests that women lack the necessary confidence, assertiveness and risk-taking attitude.

The study makes interesting reading and we can agree with several of its conclusions, but at second thought, if these are really the main obstacles for female entrepreneurs, why is not more attention given to direct selling?  We score extremely good on any of the issues and should be a likely partner for policy makers.

To start with the soft obstacles, our network based business model allows for women to relate to a network for advice and counsel, foremost from the company of which they sell the products.  The great number of direct sellers and the vast amount of success stories also suggest that there is nothing wrong with the perception of female entrepreneurs.  Nevertheless, we can likely do a better job in convincing more people to get the courage and drive to start an own business as direct seller – men and women.

A part of this should be the provision of training.  The international companies already offer training in different sizes and formats. In addition, a fewl DSAs have started generic, online training programmes. This opportunity should be explored in every country and I see both WFDSA and DSEF taking a leading role in this in the future. As the French DSA has illustrated, there is also much merit in involving government in the provision of training.  Government recognition and promotion of training will persuade more people into the business.

As to access of finance, well, as we know, a direct seller hardly needs any cash to start.  This has made the direct selling business model a global success in countries with very different levels of disposable income.  Women in France, India and Mexico all enjoy the same attraction of starting their own business without touching their savings.  It is our role to point out to governments that they should not limit their promotion of female entrepreneurship to high-tech, innovative and cash consuming projects.  They may look nice in PR terms, but the solution for female entrepreneurship is right there on our doorstep and offering immediate opportunities.

The European study also pointed at the contextual obstacles: the traditional views on the role of women.  Although there is certainly resistance in several societies against female entrepreneurship, the direct selling sector is an illustration that there are opportunities around the world, including in countries were women have more traditional and restricted roles.  The original social network, as we like to call ourselves, crosses borders with almost the same ease as Facebook.  As a result, the world was counting 80 million female direct sellers in 2011, and the number is growing.

As Seldia, we want to show our commitment to female entrepreneurship, its current contribution to the prosperity of the European Union and its tremendous potential for further growth. We launch a programme on the promotion of female entrepreneurship on 12 July 2012 with a luncheon debate in the European Parliament.  Over 100 policy makers and stakeholders will come together to discuss ways of promoting female entrepreneurship.  The highlight of the Seldia programme will be a week long exhibition at the European Parliament on Female Entrepreneurship, at which direct selling will take a prominent place.  This exhibition will take place in the week stating 19 February 2012.  We invite all those who are committed to female entrepreneurship.

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DSA Canada Update

The DSA Canada held its Annual Meeting and Conference in June in King City, Ontario.  The three-day event was a great success offering several workshops and sessions on a range of topics in a small classroom setting.  With keynote addresses by Joseph Mariano, President USDSA and Ed Holder, Member of Parliament it was an interactive meeting full of content.

It wasn’t all work at the 2012 Summer Summit.  With live music on two nights, the 2nd Annual Richard Lamb Memorial Golf Tournament, the Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) Silent Auction and the beautiful, serene location it was the perfect combination of work and play.

During the Summit the DSA was honoured to present the following Awards:

The industry’s highest personal recognition, the Ivan P. Phelan Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of the direct selling industry in Canada.  This year’s recipient is Patricia E. King, Nu Skin Canada Inc.

 The Journey to Success Award recognizes up-and-coming direct selling companies that have dedicated themselves to achieving a high standard of excellence in business operations.  This year’s recipient is Scentsy Canada Enterprises.

The Partnership in Progress Award is awarded to a DSA Supplier Member company that has provided a product or service that has had a measurable impact and contribution on a DSA Member company’s business. This year’s recipient is D-Sol Media Marketing.

The DSEF Circle of Distinction Award recognizes individuals who have devoted significant years of service and have made considerable contributions to the DSEF.  This year’s recipient is Rhancha Connell, Vector Marketing Canada Corp.

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Who is the Code Administrator?

The Code Administrator is the independent person or body appointed by DSA to monitor a Company’s compliance with the Code and to resolve complaints under the Code.  Learn more about the code at www.wfdsa.org

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Do you know the Code?

True or False:  The WFDSA Code of Ethics contains sections entitled “Conduct For the Protection of Consumers,” “Conduct Between Companies and Direct Sellers,” and “Conduct Between Companies.”

The answer is TRUE!  These three sections address the varying interactions across the spectrum of direct sales. The Code is designed to assist in the satisfaction and protection of Consumers, establish industry standards within the framework of free enterprise and enhance the public image of Direct Selling.

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WFDSA/USDSA Announce 2011 Global and U.S. Direct Selling Statistics

WFDSA/USDSA Announce 2011 Global and U.S. Direct Selling Statistics from Amy Robinson on Vimeo.

The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) and the U.S. Direct Selling Association announce the 2011 global and US direct selling sales and salesforce statistics during a joint press conference held on June 4, 2012, at the DSA Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. Alessandro Carlucci, WFDSA Chairman; Jerry Kelly, 2011-12 USDSA Chairman; and Joseph Mariano, USDSA President, present

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2011 Direct Selling Statistics

Recently, the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations and the United States Direct Selling Association jointly announced the official year-end 2011 figures for the industry, with WFDSA Board Chair Alessandro Carlucci representing the global Direct Selling industry.

Our global news was very optimistic! Here are some highlights:

  • In 2011, global direct sales increased 10% … from US$139.7 billion in retail sales in 2010 to $153.7 billion in 2011.
  • These sales were generated by the world’s 91.5 million Direct Sellers. These are the career-minded entrepreneurs who build their own businesses marketing the products/services of a Direct Selling company, as well as the part-time micro-entrepreneurs who earn extra income by doing so. This sales force of independent Direct Sellers was up 9% year-over-year.
  • Sales were UP in all major regions: Asia – Up12%; Europe – UP 4%; and the Americas – UP 11%. We always say that direct selling is a barometer of the economy – a leading indicator. And our news this year proves it. Direct selling is leading the way out of the recession.
  • The world’s Top 22 countries – all of which reported retail sales over US$1 billion – generate more than 90% of global Direct Sales. Of these, 16 countries reported sales growth in 2011. New to the group this year are Turkey and Indonesia. And if their current rates of growth hold, India and Ecuador will be included in 2012. (India at $982 million in retail sales was up 20%; and Ecuador, with sales of $903 million was up 30%.)
  • The Direct Selling story has always been one of success in both Emerging and Advanced countries. Here’s an example: The world’s Top 5 Direct Selling markets account for more than 60% of sales … 2 of these countries are considered Advanced markets / 3 are considered to be Emerging markets: United States, Japan, China, South Korea, and Brazil.

Yes! There is good news coming from the direct selling segment, but it’s not only about our growth in sales and sellers. It’s about the broad menu of opportunities that this industry offers: to those who would be independent direct sellers, their customers, and direct selling companies.

For detailed statistics, please visit the WFDSA website at https://www.wfdsa.org/about_wfdsa/index.cfm?fa=globalStats

Judy Jones, Amway Corporation & Chair, WFDSA Global Research Sub-committee on behalf of the committee

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“Direct Selling Global Statistics are the result of work by the WFDSA Global Research team and countless other people worldwide. It is my privilege to work with this team of professional researchers to compile solid information that will help convey the positive story of Direct Selling and its empowering impact on the world.”

 

Judy Jones, Amway Corporation & WFDSA Global Research Sub-committee Chair

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“Around the world, the stories of the incredible journeys many people have taken to success through direct selling tell a poignant tale of individual achievement, but it is through our global statistics that we can begin to understand the true impact of this vibrant business model.”

 Alessandro Carlucci, WFDSA Chairman & CEO Natura Cosmeticos

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