Elkhan Q. has very interesting sort of business: he is a bee keeper. He started his business in 2005 when he lost his job. Elkhan is responsible for his five children and tries to expand his business. Honey is very popular, not only in the village where he lives but also in the whole of Azerbaijan; people value quality honey very highly. This business requires a lot of attention and care and Elkhan spends most of his time near his bees. Elkhan would like to expand his business and for this purpose he needs 2000 USD as a loan.
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.