The DSA of Spain recently held a General Assembly meeting in Madrid. The event was attended by Carmen Cassero , the General Director of the Independent Work at the Spanish Ministry of Labor who deals with entrepreneurship. Her presence at the meeting allowed member companies to check the strong commitment of the Spanish public administration in their policies to boost entrepreneurship. Self-employment is seen as an added value bringing not only personal development but also prosperity to the economy in Spain
DSAP recently conducted its 20th Annual Industry Awards. The event reinforces the legitimacy of the direct selling industry by honoring the industry rock stars by sharing their inspiring stories and highlighting their individual hard work and integrity. Each honoree contributes significantly to the growth of the industry in the Philippines.
The 20th DSAP Industry Awards is the highlight of Direct Selling month in the Philippines and it also coincides with the Entrepreneurship Week which is celebrated globally. The event included guest speakers Chet and Margie Quimpo-Espino,a public relations / media couple who shared their story of how they overcame crisis after crisis.
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On November 7th, the Direct Selling Sweden celebrated its Annual Meeting and Gala Dinner at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm. During the event, the Swedish Direct Selling Association announced their new name – Direct Selling Sweden and unveiled their new logo.
The gala event included the prestigious awards ceremony. Ten direct sellers were awarded the award for Excellency in Direct Selling. The Academic award was given to three students for their thesis “Added Value through Social Interactions”. The award for Female Entrepreneurship was given to Carolina Gynning who began her business by selling her paintings and now sells home decorations and fashion jewelry. Her successful business has a turnover of close to 2 million Euro.
The Direct Selling Sweden’s social media platforms have changed to the following:
New website is located at: www.directsellingsweden.se
E-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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WFDSA and the Direct Selling Research Center at Peking University co-hosted the symposium titled the “Direct Selling in the Era of the New Normal” which was held in Beijing, China on November 6, 2015. The event was attended by over 150 participants including government officials, academics, direct selling industry, DSAs from the Asia / Pacific region and the media. The event focused on various topics such as the preliminary results of the socio-economic impact study of direct selling in China, CEO panel on the global industry development and a panel on China industry developments. Speakers included Research Center Chairman Hai Wen, WFDSA Executive Director Tamuna Gabilaia, SAIC Deputy Director General Bai Jing-Hua and MOFCOM Director General Xiaocun Chung. The Global CEO panel speakers included Roger Barnett, Shaklee Corporation, David Holl, Mary Kay Inc., Dora Hoan, Bestworld Lifestyle, Truman Hunt, Nu Skin Enterprises and Jinyuan Li, Tines Group. Chairman DeVos gave the closing keynote address and spoke about the enormous opportunity for direct selling in today’s marketplace as well as working together to create a favourable environment in China for the industry to operate in.
WFDSA presented a plaque to the Center for serving as an industry’s platform and for their invaluable contribution for advancement of the direct selling industry in China.
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On November 4 -5, 2015, the annual CEO Council meeting was held in Beijing, China in conjunction with the Direct Selling Symposium. The meeting focused on various issues, including the update on WFDSA key initiatives, company presentations on “Doing Business in China” and a presentation by Mr. Wuyang You, Deputy Head of Policy Research Center of the Alibaba Group. WFDSA would like to give a special thanks to Andrew Fan, Nu Skin Enterprises, Audie Wong, Amway, Robin Li, Tiens Group and SL Woo, Perfect (China) Co., Ltd for their presentations.
The CEO Council members had meetings with the Vice Minister MOFCOM Liu Haiquan and the SAIC Minister Zhang Mao to discuss the current and the future of direct selling in China.
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The DSA of Canada was fortunate to have the opportunity to reach out to their respective member companies to determine questions that they would like to pose to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The DSA of Canada accumulated the questions then narrowed down to what would be shared with the Prime Minister’s Office, in order for the Prime Minister to answer.
Please find below the written interview questions and answers provided by the Prime Minister.
Can you speak to initiatives that have been implemented to support small business owners and particularly the direct selling industry? What types of initiatives are planned for the future?
Small businesses are the fabric of our communities, and when they succeed, communities succeed. Our government recognizes this, and this is why we’re working hard to make it easier for Canada’s entrepreneurs to succeed.
We have kept taxes down, froze the employment insurance premium rate, and as you may know, we’re reducing the tax rate for small businesses from 11 per cent to 9 per cent by 2019. This will be the largest tax rate cut for small businesses in over 25 years, and is estimated to reduce taxes for small businesses by $2.7 billion from 2015 to 2020. The amount of annual income eligible for this lower rate was increased from $300,000 to $400,000 in 2007 and to $500,000 in 2009.
Our Government also worked to reduce the red tape burden for businesses through the Red Tape Reduction Action Plan. It’s estimated that these steps have saved Canadian businesses 750,000 hours in time spent dealing with red tape, and over $32 million in administrative burden. Regulators now must remove a regulation each time they introduce a new regulation that imposes administrative burden on business, through the One-for-One Rule.
Economic Action Plan 2015 included real action to support Canadian small businesses. We have improved access to financing for Canadian small businesses, and we’ll expand the services of the Business Development Bank of Canada to help Canadian businesses grow and become more competitive, innovative, and efficient. Additionally, we’re supporting women in business by providing mentorship opportunities and increased access to credit and international markets.
I’m glad you brought that up. As you know, direct selling is largely dominated by women, what initiatives has the Federal Government implemented to support women entrepreneurship? Of these initiatives which ones apply specifically to the direct selling industry? What initiatives have been implement or are being considered to encourage men to have greater participation in direct selling?
Our government is continuing its commitment to women entrepreneurs under the Action Plan for Women Entrepreneurs. There are a number of initiatives under this plan, but notably, the Business Development Bank of Canada will make available $700 million over three years to finance women-owned businesses. We’ll also enhance our trade missions for companies led by women and bring together women entrepreneurs for a national forum where there will be a sharing of tools, networks and connections – all important things for any entrepreneur to reach their full potential.
On the topic of trade, our Government has developed the Global Markets Action Plan, Canada’s new blueprint for using trade and investment to create new jobs and opportunities for Canadian businesses. The most important milestone is the free trade agreement announced last year with the European Union – the world’s largest trading bloc, representing an economy with over $20 trillion of economic activity each year. This agreement will make Canada the only major developed country to have preferential access to the world’s two largest markets – the European Union and the United States, accessing 800 million consumers.
We’ve also focused our efforts on the economies of the east, where new market access will unlock opportunities for Canadian businesses. For example, we concluded a free trade agreement with South Korea which came into force on January 1, 2015. We expect that this agreement will create more than 10,000 new jobs and add close to $2 billion to our gross domestic product.
I can’t say that we have any specific policy initiatives to encourage more men to participate in this sector, but I would point to our extensive record of creating an environment that encourages small businesses and entrepreneurial growth. I’ll also mention our Government’s support for families. These measures help Canadian moms and dads balance work and home responsibilities, and make life more affordable for families.
The Family Tax Cut, so-called income splitting, allows for a maximum benefit of $2000 a year. We’ve also doubled the Children’s Fitness Tax Credit and have expanded the Universal Child Care Benefit to $160 per child under the age of 6 per month, with $60 per child for children between 7 and 17. We’ve also increased the Child Care Expense Deducation by $1,000, allowing parents to claim up to $8,000 per child under the age of 7 and $5,000 for those between 7 and 16. We’re focused on helping hard-working Canadian families make ends meet by making important priorities affordable. With these measures, Canadian families will have more money in their pockets, to spend on their priorities as a family.
Prime Minister, how valuable is our channel to the Canadian economy?
Small and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of the Canadian economy and our government recognizes the important role that they play in creating jobs, generating economic growth, and sustaining Canada’s competitive edge in the global marketplace. They represent 99 per cent of all businesses in the country and account for 90 per cent of the total private sector workforce.
This is why, since taking office in 2006 our Government has strived to support small businesses. When small businesses succeed, our communities succeed. By nature, your industry relies on community, but communities also rely on the strength of their small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Self-employed individuals don’t necessarily believe that they are entitled to benefits. What are the benefits that self-employed direct sellers can participate in?
Our government has provided self-employed Canadians with access to Employment Insurance (EI) special benefits so they do not have to choose between their family and business responsibilities. The benefits cover a wide range of special circumstances, and include maternity, sickness, compassionate care and parents of critically ill children benefits.
Self-employed Canadians are able to voluntarily opt into the EI program to access the same benefits available to salaried employees. We believe you should be able to choose when it’s right for you to opt in.
When it comes to the Canada Pension Plan, we also believe in having options. Our Government doesn’t believe in forcing Canadians into a mandatory one size fits all approach, unlike the forced payroll increases to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan. Canadians should have options when saving for their future. That is why we created Tax Free Savings Accounts, Pooled Registered Pension Plans, and introduced pension income splitting for seniors. With these new savings options in place, and the many other improvements we have made, Canada’s retirement income system compares very favourably to others countries.
As there are many programs and benefits geared toward small business owners, can you clarify how direct sellers are recognized under the umbrella of the small business definition and what small business programs apply to direct sellers?
There are many different kinds of support available to entrepreneurs across Canada.
Also, the Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBFP) is a loan loss-sharing program that helps Canadian small businesses obtain access to financing. Under the CSBFP, Industry Canada and commercial lenders share the risk of providing small businesses with term loans for real property (land or buildings), equipment or leasehold improvements. The CSBFP is a national program that operates in all provinces and territories. Once the Budget Implementation Act (BIA) is passed, the definition of eligible businesses under the CSBFP will change from those with $5 million in gross revenues or less, to those with $10 million in gross revenues or less.
Unemployed individuals or new immigrants to Canada are often faced with few opportunities for employment due to experience direct sales has a tendency to break down these barriers. Individuals have accessible training programs for their direct sales business, as well as they can build a customer base within their ethnic community. Would the Canada Business Centres offer counselling through Self Employment Benefit Coordinators or through information (printed material, web material) accessible at the centres for the non-traditional employment opportunity of direct sales to individuals seeking employment?
You’re certainly right about direct selling providing great opportunities for Canadians to break down barriers and connect in their towns and cities and communities. Canada’s cultural diversity is one of our greatest strengths in this globalized world. We’re a pluralistic and multicultural country where citizens of various ethnicities, cultures and faiths live in peace and prosperity. I’m glad to know that many Canadians, especially new Canadians, participate in direct selling. It is an excellent way to contribute to both the social and economic fabric of our country.
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The Ministry of Small Business Development views the Direct Selling Association of South Africa (DSASA) as an important partner in achieving its mandate. Calling the direct selling industry an industry that gives birth to entrepreneurs and makes a critical contribution to the future of our country, the Deputy Minister of Small Business Development, Elizabeth Thabethe, said a partnership with the DSASA was important to the Ministry.
“I can already see many opportunities for collaboration between us and your association in the realisation of achieving our mandate,” said Thabethe.
The Deputy Minister was speaking at the DSA’s recent annual awards luncheon. She praised the Association’s members for the contribution they had made and continue to make to South Africa.
“The direct selling industry does more than just provide entrepreneurial and income opportunities to over one million South Africans; it also encourages an environment of learning, personal development and business building,” she said. It was something the country was in desperate need of.
More than 300 delegates at the luncheon – top achieving independent direct sellers and head office personnel from DSA members across South Africa – clapped and cheered for the Deputy Minister when she said: “I am told this is a room filled with people who are making a positive difference in the lives of others.”
Thabethe said the task of the 12-month old Ministry of Small Business Development is to promote and support small businesses. “The creation of this ministry is proof of the government’s resolve to grow this sector of the economy. Our goal is to create an environment that supports and promotes this.”
The Ministry’s mandate is to lead an integrated approach to the promotion and development of small businesses and co-operatives through a focus on the economic and legislative drivers that stimulate entrepreneurship to contribute to radical economic transformation.
She said the DSASA was an important partner for the ministry if it were to achieve this, as direct selling has the potential to significantly impact on unemployment levels in South Africa. “There can be no question that the direct selling industry assists in creating income earning opportunities for anyone who has the desire and is prepared to work. There are no barriers of age, education, colour, creed or gender,” she said.
Deputy Minister Thabethe also praised the theme of the DSA awards luncheon event: Renewal, Transformation and Innovation. “It speaks to me of unleashing the potential of the people of South Africa. Embrace your training, work hard, enable people and be prepared to work. As long as you have the spirit to change your life, self- motivation is the only barrier. Step away from the confines of your circumstances. Grasp the opportunities presented.”
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On June 28, 2015, the Thai DSA held the “Thai Direct Selling Day” to recognize the top leaders of their respective member companies. The celebration and gala dinner recognized 108 outstanding direct sellers.
Mr. Umpon Wongsiri, Secretary General of the Consumer Protection Board, presided over the opening ceremony with support from Department of Special Investigation, Consumer Protection Police Division. WFDSA Executive Director Tamuna Gabilaia gave an overview of the state of the global direct selling industry. The event was well attended by more than 1,500 people including
CEOs of member companies, DSA Secretaries and company executives from the Asian Pacific region, direct sellers, media and government officials.
Please check out the video footage from the Thai Direct Selling Day: https://youtu.be/T4MLhnL0ZVM
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The Fédération de la Vente Directe (FVD) and the University Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne (UPEC) will launch the first European academic degree dedicated to direct selling in September 2015. The three year bachelor degree is titled “Marketing and Management in Direct Selling”.
The program will be taught by university lecturers and professors from UPEC as well as direct selling executives who are members of the FVD. The students will have solid professional training in direct selling and will prepare them to work in marketing or sales departments of direct selling companies.
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The global sales force of independent direct sellers reached an all-time high in 2014. Nearly 100 million direct sellers! Sales force figures were up 3.4% vs. 2013 to 99.7 million direct sellers.
These are a vibrant and diverse group:
• Some are entrepreneurs, independent small business owners building their own businesses.
• Some work at direct selling part-time to earn extra income for themselves and their families.
• Through Direct Selling, they learn new skills, make new friends and contacts, and gain greater self-esteem.
• And they have the opportunity to give back to the community through the many social responsibility initiatives their Direct Selling companies are involved in.
• Of this diverse group, many were customers of the products or services before they became company representatives.
• As Direct Sellers, most enjoy significant discounts and, in fact, some choose only to enjoy and use the discounted products … and decide not to sell, at all.
Retail sales hit record highs, too.
Retail sales rose 6.4% to US$182.8 billion in 2014. So the steady growth curve in Direct Selling continues, now with a 3-year compound annual growth rate of 6.5% for the period from 2011-2014. The Top 5 Direct Selling markets in the world are:
#1 United States 19% of global sales
#2 China 17%
#3 Japan 9%
#4 Korea 9%
#5 Brazil 7%
• These Top 5 markets account for just over 60% of global sales (61%).
• The Top 10 account for just over 75% (78%).
• And the Top 23 – all countries with over US$ 1 billion in retail sales – account for 93% of global retail sales.
About Direct Selling Industry Research
Direct Selling industry business results are compiled from an annual survey of companies in all member countries of the WFDSA, and from research-based estimates for all other countries. The Global Research Sub-committee would like to thank all those who participated and helped with this effort.
For complete WFDSA Sales & Seller and Sales by Product Category Reports, go to: http://www.wfdsa.org/about_wfdsa/?fa=globalStats