Shafaq H. is the mother of 3 children. Her salary as a schoolteacher wasn’t even enough to provide her children with basic needs. This fact motivated Shafaq to start her own business. And in 1996 she started selling office supplies from her home. A little while after, she decided to dedicate herself to expand her business and opened her own store near her house.
Due to the large demand for her typical office supplies, she wishes to increase number of items she sells. All this would allow her to generate a larger economic income for her family with the aim to elevate their quality of life and education. In order to carry this out, she is proposing to solicit a loan that will be invested in purchasing more supplies for her 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.