Ilkin Q. is a 28-year-old man. He is married and has two school-aged sons. Ilkin has owned and managed a grocery store for the last four years. His store is located at the front of his house and his wife actively helps him in his business. They are very hard-working people who dream of giving a good education to their children. By expanding the business, he will be able to improve his family's quality of life.
Ilkin feels happy because this is the first loan he has taken out from AqroInvest and Kiva. He requested the loan amount of 1500 AZN to renovate his store and expand his inventory. He hopes to use the profit from this loan to educate his sons.
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.