Yasamen S. is a 43-year-old hardworking mother of four children. She sells poultry in the small village of Agsu and has 12 years of experience in this field. Having been in this business for quite a long time, Yasamen has lots of customers, mainly restaurants owners who buy turkey and geese from her. She gets up at 5 a.m. and works hard, looking after the poultry, until late at night. This is why she is in high demand among her clientele.
Now she is requesting a loan of 1280 AZN to purchase more poultry in order to increase her profit and save money for her children's education.
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.