Alimardan is a 52-year-old trader who sells different kinds of Chinese dishes, plates, cups and other items popular among dowries. He is married and has two sons. He has seven years of experience in this business and he has had a good client history with AqroInvest CU since 2009. His shop is located in the central market of Sabirabad and owing to this location, a lot of people pass by his shop. His monthly income is 300 AZN. Alimardan usually purchases dishes from Baku city, the capital of Azerbaijan. Now he would like to expand his business and increase his range of goods. For this purpose, he applied for a loan of 1000 AZN.
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.