Michael Cracknell spent the first half his career in agricultural economics and the second half in micro-credit. He is British and also has French nationality by naturalisation. Born in London, he studied at Bristol University in western England and at Toulouse University in south-western France. He has a Doctorate of Law and degrees in Arts, in Political Science, and in Development Studies. Resident for the past 28 years in Tunisia, he has lived in England, in France, in Italy and in Switzerland and has travelled widely. He began his career at the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at Rome, moving on to the International Federation of Agricultural Producers in Paris of which he was the Secretary General from 1969 to 1985. (IFAP – today called the World Farmers’ Organisation – groups national organisations representing the farming profession in some 70 countries.)
He then became a consultant for various UN agencies. In 1990, he moved to Tunisia were he co-founded an international NGO, Enda inter-arabe with Essma Ben Hamida, (Enda Third World is based in Dakar, Senegal.) The institution’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of the incomes and quality of life of low-income Tunisians through a socially responsible institution, designing appropriate financial systems, and in particular microcredits, as well as accompanying and training actions. In 2016, Enda inter-arabe created a micro-finance company, Enda Tamweel, to take over all micro-finance activities from the NGO; Enda Tamweel has six international investors while Enda inter-arabe remains the majority shareholder.