Gulzar A. is a loving mother of four sons. She dedicated her life to her children and after they grew up, when the eldest son was 34, she decided to start her own business. Gulzar loved flowers from childhood and has a huge garden where she raises her flowers. She knows everything about flora, how to raise, how to water and other methods to keep her flowers blossoming.
When she was left alone with her small pension, she started selling different flower roots to neighbors and relatives, and after time it became so popular that Gulzar started raising different sorts of flowers in her front room in separate pots. Now she is two years in this business and she is very happy that she can earn from what she enjoys.
Gulzar applied for a loan to purchase more seeds and flowerpots to raise her beautiful flowers, and she hopes she can increase her monthly turnover with this 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.