Narman A. is a 40-year-old trader who has sold products for the home and electrical goods for the last three years. He is married and has two children.
He started his business with some savings and a year ago, he was able to build his own shop. His monthly income is about 250-350 Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN) and he is going to increase it to 500-600 AZN. Narman applied for a 900 AZN loan to increase the number of items he sells. He believes this loan will help him to improve the living conditions of his family.
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.