Sharafat A. is very hardworking woman. Sharafat is single and lives with her parents. She tries to make more money for the family by working hard each day. About 3 years ago, she decided to start raising and selling animals. She raises calves and later sells dairy products according to her clients' demand at the markets. Her monthly income is 150-250 AZN. She prepares the dairy products for the eating pleasure of the people in her area.
Since Sharafat hopes for a great future, she decided to expand her businesses with the purpose of improving her family's living conditions. For this purpose she applied for 800 AZN and will buy one additional milk cow.
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.