Essma Ben Hamida


Essma Ben Hamida, CEO and Founder, Enda Tamweel/ Enda inter-arabe, Tunisia

In 1990, Essma Ben Hamida, returned home after a successful career as an international journalist and launched, with Michael Cracknell, the first microfinance institution in Tunisia. With 265 000 active borrowers, a €130 million outstanding portfolio, 78 branches, and staff of 1250, Enda is ranked among the best MFIs in the Africa and the Arab region. For its latest rating by PlanetRaging in March 2015, enda received A- with “positive” outlook for its financial performances and 5-(excellent) for its social performances. Moreover enda has been certified for clients protection according to the Smart Campaign Principles.

Essma holds a university degree in geography and history (University of Tunis) and one post-graduate year in urban planning (University of Créteil, Paris). Prior to her career in microfinance, Essma worked as a journalist/reporter in Tunisia, New York, Rome and Geneva and as a consultant for the United Nations. She is a founding member of SANABEL, the microfinance network of Arab countries, and was elected twice to Sanabel’s Board (2002 – 2008) serving as chairperson from 2006 to 2008. She received several awards, including the distinction of “Outstanding Social Entrepreneur in the Middle East and North Africa” by the prestigious Schwab Foundation and the World Economic Forum (Marrakech October 2010).


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