One of the leading global direct-selling giants, QNET is organizing an Expo in Kumasi from 23rd March to 24th March at the Golden Bean Hotel. Direct selling is one of the keys to the economic empowerment of Africa’s booming population.
The true meaning of direct-selling
Direct Selling originates from the United States and it remains one of the key business activities in the American economy till date. It is a global industry and it is one of the largely untapped solutions to the economic, health, and lifestyle challenges that Africa’s growing population face today. Some people might even dismiss direct selling before understanding what it really means, owing to some misconceptions about the industry. So let us take a look at what this industry is really about.
It is said that figures do not lie. Global direct selling revenue hit almost $190 billion and over 117 million people worldwide were involved in international direct sales in 2017, according to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) 2018 annual report available on: https://wfdsa.org/download/advocacy/annual_report/WFDSA-Annual-Report-112718.pdf
Direct selling is incredibly simple. It is selling products directly to the consumer without the usual long chains of middlemen or retailers. Most products sold through direct selling are usually not found in typical retail shops, it means, you can only buy through the company’s distributor or representative and can be done through internet marketing, face-to-face selling, direct mail, catalogs, telemarketing and other means.
Challenges facing majority of people in West Africa
In West Africa today, a major challenge confronting many governments is job creation. Then there is also youth unemployment. Not surprisingly, many West African countries have high populations of youth who are jobless and idle, with little recourse in sight. A common grievance is that people do not have enough money, and that the changing times are not really bringing a positive outcome to them. This is easy to understand as people are basically expressing their harsh economic realities, and this calls for an urgent need for economic empowerment of people, especially the youth.
Not surprisingly, an increasing number of people, predominantly youth, are seeking to hone competitive advantages by acquiring more capabilities in the fields of entrepreneurship, business management and related areas. Sadly, the general level of quality education and training opportunities in the region to meet this need is often inadequate and inaccessible.
Another dominant trend, especially in recent times, is the emergence of health and beauty consciousness. The rapid mushrooming of service providers such as gymnasiums, health spas, exercise and fitness centres, dieticians etc. bears testimony to this. . People are taking their lifestyles more seriously. And this only means that there is a growing market for health and lifestyle products and services.
Direct selling provides solutions
So, how does direct selling help to address some of these challenges, not just in West Africa, but across the globe? As stated earlier, the direct selling business originated from the United States and for over a century, has remained one of the most vibrant sectors of the economy churning out billions of dollars annually and providing job opportunities for many. Direct selling is now practiced in many parts of the world including Africa.
And QNET, one of the leading global direct selling companies and a partner of both the Manchester City Football Club and the Confederation of African Football (CAF), is helping to address the challenges of education, job creation, economic empowerment and lifestyle enhancement in more than 100 countries around the world, including in West Africa.
Promoting and supporting entrepreneurship, personal development, economic growth opportunities.
QNET, through direct selling, is promoting personal and small business growth and offering more financial empowerment opportunities to individuals, professionals, small business owners and workers. A Malian university graduate, referred to as Ali All, in a recent interaction with a group of young people said: “In the past and in some parts of Africa, education used to be the key to success.
It meant that when you obtain good education, you would have almost everything: good job, good salary and better livelihood. Nowadays, though education is still a good thing, it is no longer a guarantee to success. Therefore, you need to look around and be more versatile. You need to look for opportunities and explore them and direct selling is one of those opportunities young people should consider exploiting.”
Direct Selling is a credible industry and regulators such as the World Federation of Direct Selling Association based in the United States, are doing a lot to adopt best practices and ensure the industry operates to the best standards.
QNET is a member of the Direct Selling Association of Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and United Arab Emirates, as well as the Hong Kong Health Food Association and the Health Supplements Industry Association of Singapore among others. Therefore, there is a huge premium placed on developing entrepreneurial spirits and enhancing the knowledge of practitioners within the industry. For example, QNET has a training module for its independent representatives; they are trained in entrepreneurship, marketing and sales, customer service and business development.
Some of the lessons they learn are the equivalent of what is taught in leading business schools around the world. On some social platforms in Ghana, Ghanaian mothers, especially single mothers, are sharing testimonies of the opportunities QNET has provided to them and how they are being trained and groomed into entrepreneurs, catering for the needs of their families.
The QNET advantage
QNET has tapped into Africa’s growing quest for education, health, wellness and beauty. With its array of customized products, the company addresses the challenges for a better lifestyle, healthy living and wellness. The company has also adapted its products to cross-cultural norms and situations and is even willing to develop more products locally across Africa. The QNET direct selling module is tailored to addressing the basic human need for financial security, healthy living and general improvement of livelihood.
Africa currently has the world’s largest youthful population and the constant quest for employment and job opportunities, economic empowerment and healthy lifestyle would always exist. For the next few decades, governments would still be trying to find ways to proffer solutions to the booming youthful population so that it does not transform into societal menace, because as it is said in Africa, ‘The devil finds work for the idle hand’.
Direct selling, as it has existed for more than a century, will still be one of the major solutions to the African challenge of economic empowerment and QNET, one of the leading global direct selling company will be here, helping and empowering Africans and giving opportunities that would change their lives for the better.