Oqtay Q. is a 56-year-old man living in Sabirabad. He is married and has three sons aged 23, 22 and 19. Oqtay owns and runs an electrical goods and destined-for-dowry (housewares) store. He mainly sells to the local community.
Oqtay has been in the trading business for over ten years and earns approximately 500 AZN per month. He successfully repaid a prior loan taken out from AqroInvest. Oqtay is a hard-working man and wants to expand his business and earn more income. For this reason, he requested a new loan of 1,600 AZN from AqroInvest and Kiva. He used this loan to diversify his inventory and enlarge his store. Oqtay plans to use all of his profits to improve and expand his business.
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.