Ilqar A. is a 47-year-old man who is engaged in farming and has been doing this for the last ten years. He is married and has four children.
Ilqar also is a tractor operator but his main income comes from his farming business. His monthly income is 200-300 AZN but this is too low for such a big family. He applied for 800 AZN and he will use this loan to improve the irrigation system of his garden and to purchase two calves.
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.