Ziya B. is 36 years old and married with two children. The plans that he has for his family are to improve their living conditions and to prepare his two children for professional life. Ziya has had his grocery store for four years; he started it with his own resources through his work. He wants to increase the sales of new products preferred by his clients. Ziya plans to meet his economic plans by purchasing products such as bread, tinned goods, sweets, and juices to grow his revenue. For this purpose he applied for 1000 AZN loan.
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.