Ilqar N. is a 49 year old entrepreneur who sells different kinds of foodstuffs such as eggs, butter, beverages, candies etc. He has run this business for more than 20 years. Ilqar also works as administrator in the local restaurant. He is not alone in his business as his wife replaces him while he is at his second job. Ilqar has three children. He would like to enlarge the range of products he sells and for this purpose he applied for a 1500 USD 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.