A new Ipsos study conducted on behalf of the U.S. Direct Selling Association shows that a significant number of Americans are interested in pursuing entrepreneurial opportunities.
The comprehensive study showed the highest interest coming from young people, and also confirmed the positive perceptions of direct selling as both an attractive entrepreneurial opportunity, as well as an ideally personalized and convenient way to “shop local.”
“The Consumer Attitudes & Entrepreneurship Study revealed that 77 percent of Americans are interested in flexible, entrepreneurial opportunities, with the most interest coming from young people,” said Lisa Gudding, executive vice president at Ipsos. “We saw strong interest in both ‘gig’ work, such as ride-sharing services, as well as direct selling where people can share a variety of products in a face-to-face or online setting. These entrepreneurial opportunities also met several of the study participants’ top criteria, including ranking high for flexibility and ability to earn supplemental income.”
Americans’ Interest in Entrepreneurship Led by Younger Generations and Fueled by the Desire for Supplemental Income
Given the data related to people’s desire for flexible, entrepreneurial/income-earning opportunities, Ipsos noted that while U.S. unemployment rate is near a 50-year low, average wages have been stagnant over the past 50 years, and household debt has increased, it is fueling a desire for ways to earn supplemental income and increase financial security. Among the 77 percent of Americans who expressed interest in pursuing an entrepreneurial opportunity, the greatest interest came from younger generations, with 91 percent of Gen Z’s and 88 percent of Millennials interested in entrepreneurial opportunities. Also, of note, interest in starting an entrepreneurial opportunity was relatively equal among men (79%) and women (76%).
Gig Work and Direct Selling Rank High as Attractive Entrepreneurial Opportunities
“Gig” work, such as a ride-sharing service, as well as becoming a direct seller, were both seen as favorable options for earning supplemental income, with 81 percent of respondents ranking gig work favorably and 79 percent ranking direct selling as an attractive option. Both entrepreneurial opportunities were seen positively for being flexible and enable the earning of supplemental income.
“Buy Local” Consumer Trends Evident as U.S. Consumers Positive About Their Personalized and Convenient Direct Selling Purchase Experience
According to the survey, perceptions toward direct selling have remained stable at about 80 percent over the last ten years, with the majority of consumers finding value/appeal in the good feeling of supporting a small business (69%) and the personalized service (67%) that direct sellers provide. There is also a growing shift to purchasing online from direct sellers. 89 percent of Americans reported being on at least one social media platform and most users saying they log in at least once per day. The study showed that almost half (46%) of Americans would welcome contact from direct sellers regarding business opportunities on social media.
“We were pleased to have Ipsos focus their market and opinion research expertise on the important areas of entrepreneurship and consumer perceptions, particularly as it relates to the direct selling channel,” president and CEO, U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA). “These insights help us better understand the increasing desire for entrepreneur opportunities in our rapidly evolving labor market and the unique benefits that direct selling provides to all involved.”