There has been more news over the past week focusing on the increasing numbers of people in the UK running up large debts.

At this time of year, of course, there is always heightened concern as consumers stretch credit limits to push the boat out for the festive season.

Listening to the talk of payday loans, zombie debtors and debt traps, I am reminded yet again that what happens here often mirrors what plays out in Africa, where loan sharks are prevalent.

Lending is the core of our service at Opportunity International, but it goes hand in hand with financial education and training programmes.

We aim to equip our clients with the knowledge to understand the upsides and downsides of debt.

With a repayment rate of 96 per cent, these micro-entrepreneurs have proved over and again that they can make good financial choices.