"Women in Tunisia are active; they want to work and own a business; they have Phoenician blood from Dido and the Queen of Carthage .... Money empowers women and lets them contribute in decision-making. After 20 years I can see the changes. Everything changed completely for these entrepreneurial women."
- Essma Ben Hamida is director of Enda Inter-Arabe (Enda), which she co-founded in 1990. She is also the President of the microfinance network of Arab countries Sanabel. In 1995, Enda launched the first microcredit institution in Tunisia, which today reaches around 40,000 active clients, mainly women, in the poor areas of Tunisia. Previously, Essma worked as a secondary school teacher and as a TV journalist/reporter. She opened the first bureau of the national press agency, TAP, in New York at the United Nations.