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I asked women on the line two simple questions. How does it feel to be a business woman? How has your microcredit project helped you? Here are some of their replies.

"I feel independent. I've got more self-worth.
The loan will help buy start-up equipment."

Claire Miller, Pencil Portrait Artist, Holt, UK cemiller@freenetname.co.uk

"All the women in the market and the community, we are all working, everyone is working nicely. We have combined our loans
to build a new indoor market."

Francis Boye, Queen Mother, Accra, Ghana

"I feel in control of my life, in business and personally. The project gives me a sense of security - a back-up"
Clare Staples, Designer Dressmaker, Norwich

"I could not have started my business without the loan. My dream? I want to be a big person - to be able to pay for my son's education"
Theresa Odcom, Petty Trader, Elmina, Ghana

"Fantastic! It's so great to be in charge of my own life and the way I live it. The project has given me the confidence to set up my own business"
Charlotte Scott, Artist, Norwich, UK

"The level of self-esteem has increased because she is now able to stand in front of people to advise them to do any activity, at first she couldn't do that; and her image as a woman has been enhanced because of the money."
Theresa Asantewaa, Cafe Owner and Chair of a Blessing Trust Bank, Mpsiatia, Ghana

"Producing my own work to make a living is excellent. It encourages a feeling of independence and reduces fears on all levels. The group support is essential for me"
Sal Pittman, Costumier, Norwich, England

To read more replies click here


On The Line was founded by Oxfam GB, Channel 4 and WWF-UK and is registered charity, number 1073841

"If we just gave loans to people, I don't think we'd get half of them back. But its the support group, the lending circle that really keeps people motivated.
It really is the key"

Erika Watson, Director of Weetu, Norfolk, UK