About DSEF

The purpose of the Direct Selling Education Foundation is to engage, equip, and empower educators to provide students with an accurate understanding of the direct selling industry as a powerful go-to-market strategy, distribution model, and entrepreneurial option, and to teach the correct principles of direct selling, with an emphasis on ethical business practices.

DSEF partners with members of the academic community to support research and education programs that expand knowledge and understanding of the fundamental principles of direct selling. The Foundation works with professors in a variety of disciplines—including entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, ethics, business, and economics—to deliver multi-faceted programming aimed directly at the contemporary issues facing direct selling companies and consumers in a global marketplace. DSEF also sponsors campus programs to help students and faculty better understand direct selling as an industry, a channel of distribution and a pathway to entrepreneurship, and to introduce them to career opportunities at direct selling company corporate headquarters. We also sponsor and support various events, projects, and initiatives, like campus events, to further support our overall mission: DSEF engages and educates the public about how direct selling empowers individuals, supports communities, and strengthens economies worldwide.

Specific to the academic sales area, DSEF has a long and proud history of working with sales-centric professors in support of their research and teaching. The Foundation recognizes and values the integral role of sales excellence to the historical success of the direct selling industry. Hence, the opportunity to create, support, and promote this Direct Selling Education Foundation Grant Program for Aspiring Doctoral Candidates in Sales is an important new element within our stable of opportunities within the academic community.

What is Direct Selling?

The term “direct selling” refers to a business model in which independent distributors market and sell a company’s products or services directly to consumers. Independent salespeople are provided a flexible, low-risk opportunity to sell products and are provided company support, such as digital tools, a personal website, marketing and promotions, training and professional development resources, i.e. “a business-in-a-box.” Independent sales representatives prides themselves on offering quality products and highly personalized service – a level of individualized service beyond the typical online shopping experience of retail today.

Doctoral Sales Grant Program

The Direct Selling Education Foundation has this grants program to provide funding to attract doctoral program applicants with an aspiring interest in sales-related research at AACSB accredited doctoral-granting institutions, below you will find the guidelines for the process and expectations.