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SA has a jobs problem. Despite impressive economic growth, unemployment reached a 10-year high of 28% last year. The country needs to create at least 11-million new jobs over the next decade just to absorb its currently unemployed population and keep pace with demographics. The country can make a significant contribution to employment creation by engaging its nearly 6-million micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSME). Currently, small businesses employ between 50% and 60% of SA’s workforce and contribute about 34% of GDP. Yet a recent study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), “The Unseen Sector: A Report on the MSME Opportunity in SA”, reveals that more than 85% of the country’s MSME are not formalised, which means they aren’t registered enterprises nor registered with Sars. Reaching the informal can change the small-business job creation dynamic. Regulation and financial services should become fit for purpose for the informal market to stimulate entrepreneuria...

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