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ABSA's research shows franchises employ 36% more people

The Absa small and medium enterprise (SME) index, which rose slightly over the last quarter of 2012 and was 1.4 points off its low of 92 reached in the second quarter of the same year, can be attributed to the growth of self employment - confirming that there are estimated to be around 1.2 million self-employed business people.Self employment grew by 1.1% in the last quarter and overall by 2% in the last year.Of those SME businesses, franchises employ 36% more people than any other business employing people in South Africa, according to Andre Rosslee, Head of Franchising at ABSA. With the ABSA Franchise Division closely involved in the franchise sector, the ABSA SME index provides franchise clients of theirs with valuable information to help them grow their business.According to Sisa Ntshona, head of enterprise development at ABSA, it also gives policymakers the necessary statistics to help them with their SME initiatives that ultimately help ease high unemployment and create jobs.Economists believe that the lower interest rates and government's impending tax breaks for SME's could also be contributing to this upward trend.