While some domestic publications pretend to "investigate" Mary Kay—an iconic leader in opportunity for women—Newsweek's highly respected Internet publication, the Daily Beast, reports a wellspring of opportunity in...
Economists, politicians, and shoppers focus so much on the massive flood of Chinese imports that we end up paying too little attention to the products, services, and business concepts exported from the United States to China.... The experience of Mary Kay, the iconic, middle-American direct-sales cosmetics firm, proves that an American direct-sales firm with Chinese characteristics can do quite nicely.... The uplifting talk and homilies strike a lot of Americans as hokey. But in Shanghai, aspirational phrases are part of the lingua franca. We heard the motto for Shanghai's upcoming Expo 2010 repeated for us several times yesterday: "Better Life, Better City."
What is criticized as "opportunistic" in the U.S. translates as "opportunity" abroad. And some of our harshest critics in the media (along with the cousin who gave you a bad time at the family reunion) are being revealed more as upper middle class snobs than as advocates of the American way of life.
Some people are afraid of what they don't understand while others have contempt for what they don't need. "Investigative reporters" like Virginia Sole-Smith (who published a shoddy "exposé of Mary Kay in Harper's) suffer from both afflictions, and it causes them to be blinded by a cultural chauvinism that is either uninterested or uncaring of the good being done by MLM worldwide.
Closer to home, Tupperware in Mexico has been confirmed by a new study to be "empowering women by creating economic and social opportunities."
The "Empowering Women in Mexico" study focuses on Tupperware and Fuller Cosmetics and the opportunities being provided women in those programs who have "greater spending ability on education and technology."
The independent study was partnered by the Global Fairness Initiative (GFI), a nonprofit dedicated to enhancing economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Commissioned by Tupperware Brands, the study was powered by GFI and IBOPE Intelligencia, a Latin American research and survey firm that studied the degree to which financial security, socioeconomic mobility, and overall empowerment are promoted by the direct selling model. Of the women polled, 98% reported their financial status had improved as a result of joining Tupperware, and 35% reported becoming self-sufficient because of the Tupperware business opportunity.
While yellow journalists in the U.S. tend to focus on the flashy cars and big homes of full-time MLMers, the greater majority of women participating in the GFI/IBOPE study reported they would not be able to meet basic needs were it not for their direct selling business. That translates not only to entrepreneurial opportunity for nearly three quarters of a million women, but to providing "a lifeline for women seeking financial solvency and supplemental incomes for their families.
Bloomberg News reports that "Lipstick may be the newest weapon against poverty say researchers, suggesting that selling Avon cosmetics has 'helped women in South Africa become financially independent.'"
Rapidly underscoring its standing as one of the world's largest and fastest growing economies, India is a hive of MLM activity! Nearly 50% of the inquiries received by MLM.com come from India, where one day far distant we are likely to see they have more domestic MLM companies than we do in the United States of America.
And we could go on: MLM is thriving in Russia, throughout Eastern Europe, and in many developing countries around the world. Wherever capitalism is growing, it is growing hand-in-hand with MLM.
That doesn't mean you can't be a patriotic American without working in MLM...it just means you are more likely to be working on the groundfloor of worldwide capitalism if you are!
Gail S. Weinflash is Advent Communications Vice President of Client Services. For more than a quarter of a century, Advent Communications has provided Marketing Communications, Media Relations, Crisis Mediation, and Branding for MLM companies in the United States nad throughout the world. Contact Gail by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org