Change Presents Opportunity for the Direct Selling Association as it Launches the “Year of the Independent Contractor”

June 20, 2018

Global Growth Remains Steady at 1.6% in 2017 and “America’s Original Entrepreneurs” are Prepared for Transition with Product Innovation and Personal Connections

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 21, 2018) – The Direct Selling Association (DSA) has announced the “Year of the Independent Contractor” and is committed to helping its members attract and retain “America’s Original Entrepreneurs” with a dedication to revolutionizing personal selling.

Announced during the Annual Meeting opening session, the 2018 Growth and Outlook Results Report to be released in Q3 2018 will show:

  • 18.6 million people in the U.S. were involved in direct selling during 2017.
    • 5.6 million individuals were involved as business builders in 2017 and of these:
      • .9 million were full-time business builders; and,
      • 4.7 million were part-time business builders.
    • 13.0 million individuals were discount customers.
  • Global direct selling increased year over year in 2017 from USD $186.7 billion to USD $189.6 billion; and U.S. direct selling was down slightly from $35.5 billion to $34.9 billion

While we live in an era of disruption, with major transitions in the economy, retailing, and direct selling, we are poised to play an increasingly dynamic role in what is emerging as the future of retailing. Our independent contractors’ entrepreneurial spirt and companies’ innovations are what will enable direct selling’s continued adaptation and growth,” said Joseph N. Mariano, DSA president and chief executive officer.

Direct Selling Education Foundation (DSEF) Academic Fellow, Professor Greg Marshall of Rollins College stated, “direct selling represents the brightest aspect of the future of retail commerce in the US. Smart entrepreneurs and businesspeople are embracing this direct selling model of retail as a go-to strategy for success.”

“It was nice to meet men and women in the direct selling industry who work hard to run their own business and sell millions of products that Americans enjoy every day,” said Congressman John Moolenaar (R-MI) who was a featured keynote speaker at the 2018 DSA Annual Meeting. “Along the way, they help create jobs in research and development, marketing, manufacturing, and more. They are accountable to their customers and the industry’s self-regulation policies are a worthy goal for direct sellers to pursue. This self-regulation gives every direct selling company the responsibility and it is important accountability for the industry.”

Entrepreneurship was also a main theme for the elected officials who spoke at the 2018 DSA Annual Meeting. Congressman Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) explained how his 20-plus years as a public servant was guided by his experience as an entrepreneur and what he learned as he charted a course for his business. Rep. Cárdenas detailed how his experience inspires him today to fight for government policies that not only encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship, but also ensure that these entrepreneurial businesses thrive.

For more information on the 2017 Data on Direct Selling in the United States please visit You can also read more on this topic at Direct Selling News.

Media Contact:
Ginger Greenberg


The Direct Selling Association (DSA) is the national trade association for companies that offer entrepreneurial opportunities to independent sellers to market and sell products and services, typically outside of a fixed retail establishment.  In 2017, 18.6 million people in the U.S. were involved in some capacity in direct selling in every state, congressional district and community across the United States. In 2017, direct selling generated $34.9 billion in retail sales.

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