Softline, the leading provider of business management software in sub-Saharan Africa, today announced the inclusion of South Africa in the Sage Business Index for 2011. Softline joined the Sage Group plc eight years ago and forms part of the AAMEA (Africa, Asia, Middle East and Australia) region. The Index aims to reveal a definitive landscape for small businesses confidence, concerns and challenges on an annual basis.

The 2011 Sage Business Index research will include responses from just under 2000 South African businesses in addition to the insights from respondents in Spain, the UK, Germany, the USA, Canada, France, Australia and Malaysia. With such a vast collection of respondents, the Index will show a global outlook on the SME business arena while also drilling down into the South African findings.

Ivan Epstein, Chief Executive Officer Softline and Sage AAMEA, commented that the research and insights would be invaluable to the business locally. “This study highlights once again the benefit of being part a global organisation like the Sage Group. Insights into South African small business and the challenges they face are key to our operation, and the global research helps to frame these local findings in an international context.”

As part of the research, businesses are asked a range of questions regarding such issues as current business confidence about both their own market and globally, how they feel about economic recovery, their country as a place to do business, the role of Government, what challenges they face as a business in 2011 and the role of technology in helping them do business in the future.

The research will be announced locally towards the end of September. For information on past indexes visit