Joshqun I. is a 27-year-old man who opened a small café where he sells beer and other drinks, such as fresh juices. He is married and lives with his parents. His dream is to build his own café where he can sell food, as well as drinks. He started his business in 2004 and, since that time, his small café become very popular among local people. Now Joshqun would like to expand his business and improve his working place so he can approach his dream.
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.