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OPPORTUNITIES for business development and employment will be unveiled at the Ulster Bank Irish Franchise Association Expo this weekend.

The association said that as a result of redundancy, job dissatisfaction, or a deep-rooted entrepreneurial desire, the country is "awakening to the vast opportunities to be found in franchising and it's one of the few buoyant markets in uncertain times".

The sector contributes €2.4bn to the economy with 4,086 operating units on the island of Ireland and provides 42,927 full-time jobs. Firms with franchise opportunities will showcase at the event on Friday and Saturday at the RDS.