Khamidov S. is a 35-year-old butcher who keeps his own store. He started his business in 2001 and since that time he has been able to accumulate income to purchase his own store. Meat selling is a very profitable business because meat it is in very high demand among Azerbaijani people.
S. is married and has two children. His dream is attached to both his children. He dreams of providing them with better education and for this purpose he is already making some savings.
But to both keep his family and make savings is not easy and so he decided to expand his business. For this purpose he applied for a $1500 loan to increase the amount of meat he sells in a day.
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.