‘Direct selling model key to youth empowerment’
A financial expert has stressed the importance of direct selling in addressing the nation’s economic and financial challenges, especially among the younger generations.
Regional General Manager sub-Saharan Africa for QNET, an international e-commerce -based direct selling company, Biram Fall, disclosed this at a forum to discuss African youth empowerment.
Fall’s remarks are based on the latest Direct Selling Report, published by the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA).
The report showed that global direct sales increased by 2.3 per cent year-on-year, from $175.3 billion in 2019 to $179.3 billion in 2020.
He pointed out that this leap in direct selling was recorded despite estimates by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), indicating a decrease of the global economy by 4.4 per cent in 2020, a period most of the world economies were struggling with rising unemployment.
Based on the positive shift in the sector and projected growth for e-commerce, Fall urged the youths to embrace direct selling as another source of sustainable economic and financial empowerment.
The direct selling model, he said, leverages selling products directly to customers without the use of third parties, and it relies on word-of-mouth promotion from existing users.
“Direct selling is unique from traditional sales because it primarily relies on endorsements, which requires sincere and earnest hard work.
“It removes intermediaries involved in the product distribution chain, like distribution centers or wholesalers.
“If you are a distributor (i.e. a sales representative) working with a direct selling business, the manufacturer gives you the products directly to ultimately sell to the consumer.
“This builds trust and relationships with people – offering a high level of service and personal attention,” Fall said.
According to him, many businesses and enterprises across the globe use the model to promote unique products and services in categories such as wellness and nutrition, personal and beauty care and home care products, among others.
The youths, he said, have the potential to become micro-entrepreneurs and nurture sales businesses by becoming official promoters of distributor companies.
While emphasising the potential that direct selling holds, Biram stated: “Africa currently has the largest youth population in the world. This number keeps growing, and has resulted in a highly competitive environment for job searches and limited employment opportunities.
“It is projected that 200 million youths will be added to Africa’s workforce in the coming decades, pointing to a need to create more employment opportunities and diversify innovative income streams for them. The Internet and its growth hold a positive implication for e-commerce and direct selling and its potential to address Nigeria’s growing unemployment rate.
“Agusto & Co, a credit agency, indicates that employment in Nigeria stands at 35 per cent in 2021, and direct selling contributes to the much needed diversification of the job market, providing a bright future for economic growth among the youths.”