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January 03, 2017

News in Brief

News in Brief, January 2017

Click here to order the November 2016 issue in which this article appeared or click here to download it to your mobile device.

Amway Report Probes Gender, Education Gaps in Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is a perennially popular concept, but do individuals consider it an attainable one? It depends whom you ask, according to the 2016 Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report (AGER).

Amway surveyed more than 50,000 individuals in 45 countries to produce its seventh annual report, a collaboration between the direct sales powerhouse and the Technical University of Munich, Germany. The survey gauges attitudes toward entrepreneurship, which remain decidedly positive, with 77 percent responding favorably to the prospect of starting a business. Independence from an employer (50 percent) and self-fulfillment (47 percent) were cited as the most appealing reasons to do so.

“Today’s work environment is different from years ago with more people wanting to work independently and find greater fulfillment in life—especially today’s millennial generation,” said Doug DeVos, Amway President and Chairman of the World Federation of Direct Selling Associations. “AGER tells us these trends are growing but are affected by gender and education levels.”

Indeed, while responses were positive on the whole, individuals without a university degree (74 percent) were less enthusiastic about entrepreneurship than those with a degree (84 percent). This education gap extends to specific aspects of starting a business as well. For example, university graduates (60 percent) are more comfortable with the prospect of acquiring customers than non-graduates (55 percent).

The Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report also identified disparate attitudes between men and women on the subject of entrepreneurship. When polled, 48 percent of men said they could imagine starting a business, compared to 38 percent of women. Similarly, 52 percent of women and 60 percent of men expressed confidence in their ability to acquire customers.

These responses point to untapped economic potential, DeVos said in the company’s release. “We think it’s important to have dialog about how to close these gaps and create more entrepreneurial equality and accessibility around the world, especially considering that entrepreneurship is known to drive economies and create jobs.”

Beauty Fans Vote Mary Kay for Best Pinterest, YouTube and App

Beauty fans around the world voted Mary Kay Inc. “Best Pinterest,” “Best YouTube” and “Best App” for 2016’s #beauty20 Awards presented by innoCos Digital. The annual program recognizes beauty brands that are finding innovative ways to connect with consumers through digital technology and social media.

To identify brands cutting through the noise, a panel of industry experts selected five finalists in each of 10 categories, with the winners chosen by the public. Mary Kay has been named a top digital marketer in the #beauty20 Awards for four consecutive years.

On the brand’s Pinterest page—which has more than 95,000 followers—users can find anything from Hollywood-inspired makeup tutorials to holiday gift ideas. In 2016 alone, the page had garnered nearly 45,000 clicks to the Mary Kay website. The company’s award-winning YouTube channel had generated 11.1 million total views since it launched in 2009.

Another way Mary Kay introduces its products to new audiences is through the free Mary Kay Virtual Makeover app, where users can upload a personal photo and try out any combination of the brand’s products. Voted Best App in the #beauty20 Awards, Mary Kay Virtual Makeover has been downloaded more than 7 million times.

Natura to Phase Out Direct Sales in France

Consumer buying habits are prompting Natura Cosméticos to phase out its direct sales model in France.

The Brazilian cosmetics maker planned to wind down direct selling operations in the market by Dec. 31, a measure that would impact about 1,100 consultants. According to a statement from Natura’s Chief Financial and Investor Relations Officer, José Roberto Lettiere, the decision resulted from market analysis indicating that, on the whole, French consumers prefer to interact with beauty brands through other channels.

“Unlike Latin America where sales through relationships account for approximately 30 percent of the CFT [cosmetics, fragrances and toiletries] market, in France its participation is only 2 percent,” said Lettiere. “In Brazil and in Latin America, direct selling is and will continue to be the main channel for Natura.”

The company aims to strengthen its business in France, and in turn support its strategic objective of internationalization, or establishing Natura as an international brand. In developed markets, that strategy is focused on retail stores, e-commerce and “beauty specialists.”

Young Living Holds Employee Service Day for Sole Hope

Shoes might seem outside the purview of an essential oils company, but Young Living Essential Oils recently mobilized employees and members to help assemble more than 2,000 pairs in three days.

The shoes will be distributed to impoverished communities in Uganda through Sole Hope, a nonprofit that helps individuals infected by jiggers, a debilitating parasitic insect, and other common foot-related diseases. Within these communities, a lack of understanding about jiggers often leads to children being ostracized and outcast without necessary treatment, according to Young Living. 

Sole Hope is working toward sustainable change by holding medical clinics and providing education and jobs. One of the organization’s primary initiatives is supplying closed-toe shoes to protect children’s feet. Over a three-day period, Young Living employees and members contributed by hosting a “Worldwide Shoe Cutting Party” with more than 20,000 participants helping to cut denim to make the shoes, including nearly 2,000 corporate employees in Utah.

Young Living provides ongoing support to Sole Hope through service and raising awareness in Uganda. The company also has pledged $350,000 to fund a new Sole Hope Outreach House.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from Young Living and its members,” said Dru Collie, Sole Hope Executive Director. “The foundation’s efforts have enabled us to change lives by providing hope and treatment to hundreds of individuals every week.”

AdvoCare Signs Multiyear Renewal with NASCAR’s Roush Fenway

AdvoCare has renewed a key sponsorship with NASCAR’s Roush Fenway Racing and driver Trevor Bayne.

The nutrition supplement maker will remain primary sponsor of Bayne and his No. 6 Ford Fusion for the next three seasons, extending a relationship that began in 2014. Bayne, who won the 2011 Daytona 500 in just his second career start, is No. 22 in the 2016 standings.

“AdvoCare has been an outstanding partner to work with, and I am really excited to continue this relationship and represent AdvoCare for three more seasons,” Bayne said in a news release. 

AdvoCare, with its “We build champions” motto, has made sports sponsorships a cornerstone of its marketing strategy. Last year, the Texas company signed on through 2019 as Official Sports Nutrition Sponsor of Major League Soccer, in addition to a jersey sponsorship of the league’s FC Dallas club. The company has found another strong partner in Roush Fenway, which has racked up more wins than any other team in NASCAR history.

“AdvoCare is extremely proud to call Roush Fenway Racing and Trevor Bayne partners, and we look forward to continuing our great relationship on and off the track,” said Allison Levy, AdvoCare Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer.

DSA Companies Make Holiday Donations to TODAY Toy Drive

This holiday season several direct selling companies supported the TODAY Show Toy Drive, in a tradition that goes back more than a decade.

The effort is orchestrated by the U.S. Direct Selling Association, which encourages its member companies to give back during the holidays by donating cash or products to the Toy Drive. The DSA reports that the 2016 contributions have reached about $7 million, with donations collected from Amway, Arbonne, Barefoot Books, Damsel in Defense, Good Will Publishers, Jordan Essentials, L’BRI Pure n’ Natural, Mary Kay, New Avon, Origami Owl, Team National, Thirty-One Gifts and USANA Health Sciences.

“This is DSA’s 13th year of involvement with the Toy Drive, and our members have generously contributed more than $160 million over the years,” said Melissa Brunton, DSA’s Senior Vice President, Education & Meeting Services. “We just can’t think of a better way of making a difference in the lives of children and their families in the holiday season.”

As the 23rd annual TODAY Show Toy Drive kicked off on Nov. 28, Brunton appeared on the show to acknowledge the generosity of DSA members and present a selection of donated gifts, such as children’s books from publisher Barefoot Books and bath and body products from Jordan Essentials. All donations are distributed to underprivileged children across the country, and to U.S. military bases abroad. Since its first toy drive in 1994, TODAY has delivered about $434 million in donations to more than 4 million children.

Primerica Sets $200 Million Stock Buyback Program

Primerica Inc. (PRI—NYSE) announced that its board of directors has approved a $200 million share repurchase program, potentially upping the stock’s value for shareholders.

The buyback period extends through June 30, 2018, with the option to pursue open market transactions, block trades or privately negotiated transactions. The board of the financial services firm may discontinue the program at any time. Any potential buybacks would put money back in the pockets of Primerica investors, as the company continues to deliver solid financial results.

In the company’s announcement, CEO Glenn Williams highlighted Primerica’s strong performance in the most recent quarter. “Our life insurance-licensed salesforce and term life insurance policies issued grew double digits, and our earnings per share and return on equity increased significantly year over year,” said Williams. “This new $200 million repurchase authority enables us to deliver value to our stockholders by providing flexibility for incremental repurchases as conditions and available capital allow.”

Direct Selling expansions in the fourth quarter


  • Arbonne, Taiwan
  • Buyezee, Cambodia
  • Gold Canyon, Mexico
  • LifeVantage, Quebec, Canada
  • Mannatech, China
  • Nerium, Australia
  • Total Life Changes, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan
  • XANGO, South Korea
  • Younique, Hong Kong


  • Mannatech Retail Store, Texas, USA
  • ForeverGreen Worldwide, Taiwan Office
  • USANA, China Manufacturing Facility