120,000 Working Mums now Generating Income through Direct Selling

There has been a 20% annual increase in number of working mums in the Direct Selling industry

New figures released by the Direct Selling Association (DSA) have revealed that over 120,000 mothers in the UK are now generating an income via direct selling. Of the 400,000 direct sellers in the UK, 30% are working mothers.  This represents a rise of over 20,000 more working mums in the industry compared to the previous year – a 20% increase.

The industry has experienced a significant widening during recent years including a 29% rise in under-25 year olds. However these new figures reveal that direct selling’s traditional demographic, working mums, are now increasingly being attracted to direct selling to generate an income, reducing the need for childcare costs, which is often cited among the chief reasons why both parents do not go back to work.

The Direct Selling Association (DSA), the trade body that represents direct selling companies including Avon, Amway and Forever Living surveyed its 60 member companies, and discovered that working mums are turning to direct selling as an alternative to traditional employment. Women as a whole make up on average 76% of UK direct sellers.

Female unemployment as a whole has risen more than male joblessness since the recession, reflecting the increasing number of women struggling to find jobs. New figures show 14% of women returning to work after maternity leave find their jobs under threat, mothers are facing an increasingly difficult position in traditional employment. Flexible and part time working options are often not available, and returning mothers are often under employed in positions they are over qualified for.

The cost of childcare meanwhile is rising with the minimum necessary cost for raising a child rising 4% in 2013, according to the Child Poverty Action Group.

Lynda Mills, Director of the Direct Selling Association said: “Parents are often faced with an impossible choice – return to work, often under difficult conditions and face astronomical childcare costs, or stay at home resulting in no income. Direct selling however is offering many women the opportunity to work around their commitments – giving them the flexibility to work as and when they choose, while still looking after their children.”

Direct selling allows anyone, regardless of age, background or prior experience to set up and run their own business. It is a flexible option with minimal outlay allowing people to work the hours they choose with no dependency on the traditional jobs market. The flexibility makes it particularly appealing to parents who can look after their children while working.

Lynda Mills says: “With women under increased pressure from the traditional jobs market and increasing childcare costs, direct selling is a practical solution that means women can run and develop their own micro-business on their terms.”

Direct selling is the UK’s largest provider of part-time independent work. Data from the Direct Selling Association also shows that revenue generated by its member companies have grown 7% from £1.5 billion to £1.6 billion in the last year.

The Direct Selling Association is the trade body for the industry, responsible for promoting the sector and regulating member companies. All DSA member companies sign its Code of Conduct – an independently administered set of guidelines that ensures that direct sellers and customers can be safe in the knowledge that any member company will uphold the integrity of the industry.

Image credit: DSA member Usborne Books

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