Direct selling has been defined as the sale of a consumer product or service in a face-toface manner away from a fixed retail outlet. These sales are conducted by self employed independent contractors, without employees, usually part-time and typically female. Relatively little is known of the self-employed without employees but they are typically regarded as micro small businesses passing through the early stages of business growth. As evidence for this alternative and segmented view of the small business population, whole classes of employees, with no real aspirations to become entrepreneurs, have been witnessed making the transition from employment to self-employment, often continuing to work partly or wholly for their former employers.

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