Shiraz S. is a 42 year old man who sells sweets, candies, tea and some home products in his small store which he rents. Shiraz has two years of experience in this field. His dream is to build his own store in the future. Now he enjoys his business and is trying his best to grow it and provide the best future for his three children. Shiraz applied for a US $1200 loan to purchase more goods for his store.
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.