There is extensive experience in microfinance provision in Africa, but relatively few empirical studies on the social and economic benefits to clients. This paper draws on original surveys of 281 rural households in Southern Nigeria, some of which are served by two microfinance programs but have not received any loans. The statistical tests show that households with access to programs do have more substantial social and economic benefits than those without access. The evaluation holds important lessons for studies on other programs in many African countries.
JEL classification: G2, G21, N27
Keywords: Microfinance, project impact, Lift Above Poverty Organization, Nigerian Agricultural Cooperative and Rural Development Bank, Nigeria