Sakhlar B. is a 53-year-old pension trader who has 10 years' experience in food sales. He is married and has four children. He started his business because he lost his job and wasn’t able to cover the basic needs of his dearest children. Sakhlar's monthly income is about 400 AZN. He is an experienced businessman and he wishes to open a new shop. To achieve his dream, he needs more money and for this purpose he has applied for a loan of 900 AZN. He needs this loan to purchase more merchandise.
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.