While other parts of the world economy were hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the direct selling industry grew at a rapid pace.
According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy would shrink by 4.4 percent in 2020, while the direct selling business will increase by 2.3 percent globally.
According to Malou Caluza, CEO of QNET, a global direct selling organization with a presence in East Africa, the direct selling industry not only stayed stable during the pandemic, but the number of self-employment options practically doubled.
Even though the International Labour Organization (ILO) predicted job losses of up to 114 million by 2020 as a result of COVID-19-related regulations, direct selling provides a source of income for adolescents and women as micro-entrepreneurs in the ‘gig economy.’
Direct selling’s low entry cost allows women in disadvantaged places like East Africa to lead the world in entrepreneurial activity rates. It’s no surprise that Ugandan women, ahead of Botswana and Ghana, are the most entrepreneurial in the world, according to DHL’s Global Index for 2021.
According to the World Bank’s economic research, digital technologies have aided Africa’s recovery from the ashes of COVID-19 by increasing productivity and job chances, since e-commerce opens up new opportunities for enterprises.
Direct selling enterprises like QNET not only help people become entrepreneurs, but they also help a lot of small and local businesses develop their products and build up production units, which creates jobs in the area.
Given the continent’s young population and rapid digital technology use, Caluza, QNET’s CEO, believes Africa is the next great area for direct selling investment.
“How well digitisation is integrated into the current economy, allowing firms to harness their digital commerce infrastructure and local know-how to generate new meaningful income prospects,” she noted, will be critical to this process.
Amelia Kyambadde, the president’s trade advisor, urged Ugandan youth and women to embrace e-commerce and direct selling as a way to avoid unemployment and save money on company expenses like rent.
“Technology has made life so much easier; we no longer need real storefronts to sell products; instead, we have online shopping malls where you can order goods online and have them delivered right to your door.” “With today’s technological innovations, renting physical locations to showcase stuff is no longer fashionable,” Kyambadde explained.
According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), the number of people working in this profession increased 17.3 percent year over year in 2020, bringing the total number of African direct selling distributors to 6.3 million.
Companies utilize direct selling as a sales method to advertise their products outside of a physical retail store.
QNET is a direct sales organization that specializes on health and wellness products. They include nutritional and food supplements, skincare, home care, and cosmetics, all of which are designed to assist clients enhance their lives and well-being. QNET also sells energy goods, vacation packages, online education courses, and high-end luxury items, all of which are sold online.