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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

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Welcome to the WFDSA Blog!

Welcome to the WFDSA Blog! It is one of our initiatives to digitalize the huge transformative potential of direct selling and its relations. Networking is already in the essence of our industry. In this manner, in an increasingly connected world, we are working to make Direct Selling increasingly innovative and attentive to society’s challenges and needs. In the last 34 years, WFDSA have been working to support direct selling worldwide, always facing the global challenges and looking for promoting the highest standards for responsible and ethical conduct. There are almost 90 million people working in our industry worldwide – and probably we have at least the same number of transformation histories. Our Federation represents more than 60 national direct selling associations and one regional federation, promoting integration between them and important direct selling global companies. Last year I was nominated by our Board to continue with the stunning job of my predecessors and before listing our key objectives for the following years, I would like to thank, declaring my respect and admiration, all the former WFDSA leadership. I have the privilege and the pleasure to count with some of them in the WFDSA Board and together we will be able to create the Direct Selling of the future, admired and recognized by all. Our first priority is strengthening Direct Selling’s image. We have the opportunity to show that our industry has a huge role and contribution today in a continually changing world, suffering the impact of social and environmental challenges. I believe that the diversity, with unity, will make us stronger, connecting us to the world and to the challenges of our time. That’s why our second priority is to empower our associations, improving their structures and resources. We are all connected to the same cause, mobilized by the same passion and we will all be co-responsible for embracing the extraordinary opportunities that await us. Let’s use this blog as share point, helping us achieving our challenging objectives. Very best regards, Alessandro

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