Gulbakhar raises vegetables, particularly cucumbers, in her garden and sells them to the local bazaar traders. She has five years of experience raising vegetables. Her business has brought her a good income all the years. Cucumbers are in very high demand among the Azerbaijani people, as they use them in their everyday meals.
Since selling vegetables is the only source of income for her family, Gulbakhar and her husband work very hard to cover all the family's needs and feed their two grown daughters. Last year was too hard for Gulbakhar`s family, as the prices for food increased twice, and they are going to rise again next year. Gulbakhar applied for a loan of $1200 to develop her business. She is going to rent land and start raising other sorts of vegetables.
About Aqroinvest: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.
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