The UK Direct Selling Association (UK DSA) released new figures today revealing that the number of direct sellers under 25 increased by nearly a third (29 percent) in 2012. At 75,000-strong, the under-25 segment now represents 19 percent of all UK direct sellers.
Lynda Mills, Deputy Director at UK DSA, identifies several factors that make direct selling appealing to young people. Direct sales offers fundamental business experience—experience that has proven increasingly difficult to obtain in a tough jobs market. It also appeals to the 30 percent of young people (according to a recent Prince’s Trust study) who say they anticipate being self-employed in the future. Few startup opportunities are as relatively simple and potentially profitable as direct selling.
For others, the pressures of student debt coupled with scant employment options have prompted them to think outside the 9-to-5 box. “The increase in tuition fees and failure of the traditional jobs market have frequently led young people to consider direct selling, and many are now making a real success from the industry,” Mills said. And these young people bring their own style to traditional direct selling methods. “Under 25s are the new generation in direct selling and are bringing with them new tools and technologies like smartphones and social media,” Mills notes.