This year has proven to be more challenging and unique than any of us could have ever imagined.
Our goal has been to continue the journey towards a Canadian direct selling channel that is viewed with positivity and trust by consumers, government officials and media. To help achieve this, we celebrated our first ever Direct Sellers Day, successfully campaigned for broader access to COVID-related income support, ran educational seminars and webinars throughout the year, and carried out insightful research and media outreach.
Some of our key actions and achievements in 2020 include:
Education and Events
Legal & Regulatory Seminar
60 members attended a 1-day seminar that covered legal, regulatory and compliance issues impacting direct selling companies.
Master Class Webinars
Over 160 participants took part in 5 educational webinars, presented by members, on various topics of interest.
Pivot 2020 Virtual Summit
Our first ever Virtual Summit, Pivot 2020, took place on November 19, with over 100 participants registering.
It provided members with an opportunity to learn from one another and listen to experts discuss current issues facing the direct selling industry in Canada.
Advocacy, Awareness and Resources
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Campaign
We campaigned extensively to push for changes to CERB, which did not initially allow applicants to have any sources of income.
As a result of our efforts, CERB was amended, and independent sales consultants (ISCs) were able to earn up to $1,000 per month while accessing this income support program.
At the onset of the pandemic, we put together a webinar, online links and resources to help member companies share insights and best practices.
We took our government relations efforts online this year, organizing virtual roundtables for our members with MPs, and meeting with numerous government departments and committees on topics that impact direct selling.
We continued to advocate on issues such as:
- The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and next steps to recovery;
- National broadband investment;
- Support for women female entrepreneurs;
- Commonsense regulation of direct sellers and their products;
- Digital literacy programs; and
- Much more.
Globe & Mail Feature
In March, we partnered with the Globe and Mail to feature the story of Kim Moreau, an Independent Sales Consultant with Pampered Chef.
The advertorial was placed across Globe and Mail’s digital platforms, received nearly 930,000 impressions, and was read by 3,000 people.
Direct Sellers Day
On September 16, 2020, we celebrated our very first Direct Sellers Day. A day to raise awareness of the empowering direct selling opportunity and to share positive experiences.
Our Facebook promotion reached over 22,000 people and 2,000 people watched our Live event (both live and pre-recorded). We saw increased followers and engagement across all our social media platforms as well as increased new visitors to our website.
In mid-July 2020, we commissioned an independent consumer research initiative to help provide insights into the Canadian economy, consumer motivations and sentiment towards the direct selling industry.
The results garnered some media attention and led to an article being published in Direct Selling News.
Shop Direct, Shop Local Campaign
Our Shop Direct, Shop Local campaign, which ran from November 9 until December 4, reached 8,000 people on Facebook and Instagram, and lead to 4,000 new visitors to our website.
The campaign was focused on supporting local small entrepreneurs and featured 9 DSA members and their products and/or gift guides.
$16,000 in Scholarships Awarded
We awarded $14,000 in scholarships to:
- children and grandchildren of active independent sales consultants (ISCs) of DSA member companies,
- ISCs who themselves are students, and
- a child of a DSA member company employee.
In addition, the top 2 students also saw a $1,000 grant awarded to each of their schools.
Over $10,000 Raised for DSEF
Although things were more challenging this year, DSA members were still able to raise $10,720 this year. Thank you to all our donors and to everyone who participated and helped us reach our fundraising goals.
6 Awards Presented at Pivot 2020
This year, our Awards were presented virtually at our Pivot 2020 Summit. We honoured and recognized 6 individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the direct selling industry in Canada.
DSA Gives Back
DSA staff and limited member volunteers participated in the Holiday Helpers Give-Back program again, in December this year.
Looking Forward to 2021
In the year ahead, DSA Canada will continue to provide value to its stakeholders through the development of more educational and business resources, investment in research projects and public relations activities, and carry on with its advocacy actions to positively promote the direct selling industry in Canada.