Rahima K. is 46 years old and married with five children of school age. She runs a café where she provides meals of her national cuisine. She is a cook and finished special cooking school. The café is located in the central local market, which allows her to have many clients, the majority of whom are those making purchases in the market. The business has been generating a stable income for the last seven years.
Now, Rahima is planning to make repairs to her cafe and improve working conditions. For this purpose, she is requesting a loan for the first time. Today she thanks all of those supporting her and promises to repay the loan promptly.
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.