Ayten Q. is 21 years old. She sells electrical goods such as electrical cookers, air funnels, mini fans and irons. She has three years of experience in this field and is doing very well. Ayten is friendly and polite with clients and, at the same time, she knows every single detail about the items she sells which is very helpful for customers. Ayten applied for 1400 Azerbaijani manats to increase her stock. She believes she can make some savings for her dowry.
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.