Nadim is 32 years old, married and the father of two children. For the last seven years, he has made a living selling fruit, including apples, peaches, bananas, orange and pomegranates, in the local market. He is very skilled at what he does and knows how to store the produce to keep it marketable, nutritious and good tasting. He is known locally for having excellent prices and outstanding service, which allows him to earn a substantial and stable income for his family. During the summer, his goods are in high demand and he is applying for a loan for 1,000 AZN to expand his business by buying more fruit to sell.
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.