Latifa S. is forty-eight years old and married with two children. Ever since she was married, she has worked at a business of buying and selling sheep. In order to increase her profits, Latifa walks through farms and several settlements to buy sheep at the lowest price. She currently has eight sheep. Latifa wants to expand her business and, since her children are grown up, she thinks that with their help she will be able to look after more sheep. She is asking for a loan of $2000 to purchase twenty sheep. Latifa expresses her gratitude to everyone supporting her and promises to repay the loan on time.
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.