QNET, citing statistics from the International Finance Corporation that states women are now starting businesses at a rate faster than men, and a report by Deloitte that concludes women now own as much as one-third of all enterprises worldwide, explains that in spite of progress, women are still facing significant barriers to entrepreneurship.
Women continue to be underfunded and have less access to credit than their male counterparts, which QNET points out limits startup potential, but the average startup cost for a direct selling company, according to the Direct Selling Association (DSA), is only about $100.
“The toughest part of the journey was at the beginning because I didn’t have any experience of running my own business,” said Asma Abid, a high-performing representative with QNET. “Learning how to overcome my fears and accept setbacks was essential because I wanted to succeed. I wanted to feel empowered and be able to lead and help others become entrepreneurs too. Direct selling was the ideal training ground as I had the flexibility and freedom to pursue a career at my own pace, and the overwhelming support from other women in the direct selling community really helped me through to become the person I am today. The core of direct selling is not just about the money, but the genuine connection and care you have with your community–it is synonymous with the values that women have, which are to nurture and care.”
According to the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA), almost three-quarters of all direct sellers are women. QNET leaders attribute this in part to the fact that women are often primary caregivers who have to balance childcare, work and home, and direct selling offers women an opportunity to fit work around other commitments while receiving on-the-job mentoring, training and education to develop the skills necessary to run their businesses.
“The success of direct selling today is the result of the hard work of women,” said QNET CEO Malou T. Caluza. “Women pioneered the hugely popular ‘Tupperware parties’–stay-at-home mothers and enterprising young women–and broke gender stereotypes to build the multi-billion industry that we know today. Direct selling would not see its current success without the hard work and passion from women. Even though I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years, it has never ceased to inspire me when witnessing women from all walks of life demonstrate passion, tenacity, and drive and emerge feeling empowered when their entrepreneurial journey brings them success.”