Oqtay A. is a trader who has run his own business since 1995. He started this business and built his own shop, step by step, from his savings. Oqtay is married and has two children. He sells different kinds of goods such as sweets, home products, bath accessories, etc. This is the only source of income for his family. Oqtay tries his best to cover the family’s needs and to provide an excellent education for both of his children. Oqtay’s dream is to hand over the business to his children in the future. For this purpose he is applying for a US$1500 loan to increase the number of items he sells.
Aqroinvest Credit Union was founded in 2001 by a group of 32 farmers from Imishli. It has since grown to become the largest credit union in Azerbaijan, owned by its more than 5,400 borrowers and boasting a portfolio of nearly US$12 million.
AqroInvest is focused on providing loans to the following groups of people: rural farmers, people living in distant southern villages with little or no access to finance and internally displaced people and refugees, many of whom lost their homes and livelihoods during the violent conflicts in the 1990s.
In May 2011, Aqroinvest started a new project with Kiva proving higher education loans to students. The project gives students the support and financing they need to continue their education and helps pay for tuition fees at various universities in Azerbaijan. Aqroinvest is the first credit union in the country to offer students loans.