QNET, the global e-commerce based direct selling company, is empowering women in Nigeria through entrepreneurship and by providing training, mentorship and education that cultivates valuable skills and knowledge they apply to their direct selling businesses. While marking the ongoing International Women’s week, QNET in Nigeria amplified the International Women’s Day theme of ‘break the bias’ by stressing the importance of equipping women with the right tools that will enable them to thrive in entrepreneurship.
Direct selling is providing opportunities for women empowerment in Africa and the world, as a majority of women- compared to men – take up the model to boost their income generation. Direct selling allows one to become an entrepreneur with little to no investment made, and allows for flexibility in time and space, and a simplified work process. As a result, the model provides equitable access for women across different ages, education and social backgrounds, and requires honest and hard work to thrive.
Women power the sector, with the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations (WFDSA) indicating that an estimated 74.4% of direct selling representatives across the globe are women.
Biram Fall, QNET Regional General Manager for sub-Saharan Africa said: “Direct selling is providing Nigerian women with the valuable opportunity to balance professional and personal lives on their own terms; while enabling them to overcome barriers that often keep them from entrepreneurship – such as a lack of capital, time and skills. Through our training, we ensure that our independent representatives, who are majorly women experience hands on learning and grow their networks too.”
Biram added that the trainings enable them to contribute to their households and the economy, while serving as a viable platform for upskilling and reskilling.
While shedding light on the flexible working hours offered through direct selling model, Biram said: “The direct selling business model provides women with the freedom to choose where they work from and when they work. The provided flexibility of working hours, unlike nine to five corporate jobs, have enabled women in the direct selling industry to work as desired – thus allowing women to walk the fine balance between work and personal life.”
Direct selling is an innovative income generating solution that contributes to removing some of the barriers faced by women in other entrepreneurship platforms. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) among others agrees that women play a critical role in the global economy as entrepreneurs. They help create jobs, generate income, and boost revenue—driving economies while reducing inequalities between women and men. A report by IFC further indicates that in many emerging economies, women are starting businesses at a faster rate than men, significantly contributing to the economic growth.
This is despite the fact that women face greater obstacles in almost all spheres of economic activity—from access to finance and assets to technology and peer-to-peer networks. On average, women have just three-fourths of the legal rights afforded to men, according to the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law report of 2021. In some countries, women cannot register a business, sign a contract, or open a bank account.
With direct selling however, anyone can become an entrepreneur if the right mindset is adopted. Success here, as with any other business, is tied to discipline and dedication.