Namiq S. is a very young and enthusiastic guy of 22 years. Being so young, he could start his business and choose very proper goods to sell: men's shoes and shirts. He has very good quality goods, and once a week he goes to the capital of the country, which is about three hours away from his home city Imishli, to sell them. He rents a store in the central market. He started his business two years ago and now would like to expand it and purchase more items. He would like to make some savings and get married in near future. For these purposes, he has applied for a loan of 2,500 USD.
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.