Uniting Country SA Launches Unique Micro Credit Research Findings

Flinders University Australian Centre for Community and Social Research in conjunction with Uniting Country SA (UCSA) undertook an evaluation of UCSA’s Micro Credit Loan Program.  The research paper highlights the positive impact the micro credit loans have on the lives of those who access them. This research was officially released on Tuesday, September 25th as part of an event to showcase the value of the micro credit loan program to the local economy at the Port Pirie Yacht Club.

Uniting Country SA’s micro credit loans are a system where clients are able to take out a small loan which generate zero interest and are used to purchase essential items or services, such as paying for medical bills or purchasing white goods. Since inception, UCSA’s micro credit loans have generated over $3,000,000 worth of value  across 9000 loans, all drawn from a pool of just $40,000.

Flinders University researchers, Dr Catherine Mackenzie and Associate Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith, interviewed clients, staff and volunteers on the effectiveness of the program through the use of surveys and in-depth interviews. The research shows that, overwhelmingly, clients are extremely satisfied with the program. UCSA clients who have accessed this loan program have said they feel very comfortable taking these loans, with one stating that “It’s not charity… I am paying for it.”

Key Quotes from research

“The first loan was to fix my car and without fixing up my car I would not have been able to get a job.”

“It has helped me when I needed to pay the specialist for surgery”

It’s not Charity… I am paying for it”

Download the research report here