Our work in this area focuses on researching the potential for microcredit to act as a health creator and generator of wellbeing. This brings a new 'determinants of health’ perspective to the microcredit research field. The reasons for thinking like this are that:
1. We know that people’s income and general life circumstances are related to their health and wellbeing; and
2. Despite world class health services in countries like the UK, health inequalities are both persistent and widening, so we need to look for and evaluate new solutions to this societal challenge.
Our early work was funded by a development grant from Santander Bank. Our flagship project in this area (FinWell) is funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government’s Health Department, in which we are working with the US Financial Diaries Methodology to portray the financial lives of people on low-incomes, the role of microcredit in facilitating their financial strategies and their perceptions of how this links to their shorter and longer-term health and wellbeing. We aim to progress to even larger longitudinal studies of impacts of different types of microcredit (e.g. for enterprise or not? with customers working in groups or not?), and even other financial services (e.g. purely advisory) on the health and wellbeing of customers.