Loan Take-Up and Use: The intervention led to a significant increase in borrowing in lending villages, and women in group-lending villages were more likely to borrow than women in individual-lending villages. After 18 months, 57 percent of survey respondents in group-lending villages and 50 percent in individual-lending villages borrowed from XacBank, and households in both types of lending villages were 24 percentage points more likely to receive microcredit than comparison households. Two thirds of all borrowers in both group- and individual-lending villages used their first loans primarily to invest in a new or existing enterprise, usually by purchasing livestock, tools, or machinery, and used the remainder for household expenses.
Impacts on Enterprise Creation: Women in group-lending villages were 10 percentage points more likely to own an enterprise than comparison households, and the impact was even larger for less educated women, who were 30 percentage points more likely to own an enterprise. Individual loans had no significant effect on women creating businesses of their own, but women in individual-lending villages were 12 percentage points more likely to operate a business jointly with their spouse. Neither group nor individual loans increased household income, though the survey may have taken place too early to observe any effects on income.
Impacts on Consumption: Access to group loans led to more and healthier food consumption, while individual loans had no effect. Food consumption increased by 17 percentage points in households in group-lending villages, and they were also significantly more likely to consume dairy products, fruit and vegetables, and non-alcoholic drinks than comparison households.
Impacts on Repayment: Both individual and group loans resulted in similar repayment rates, providing evidence against the hypothesis that microcredit repayment rates are high primarily because of public weekly repayment meetings. Collateral was used to guarantee the vast majority of loans, which may also have contributed to their high repayment rates.