Imammaddin Q. is 35 years old and married. He has had a grocery store for 2 years; he started it with his own resources through his work. His wife is the one who works in the store. Imammaddin uses all his income to improve living conditions for his two children. He wants to increase the sales of new products preferred by his clients. He applied for a 900 AZN loan to purchase products such as bread, tinned goods, sweets and juices to increase his revenue.
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.