Alina is 57, she sells dowry products as glasses, vases, tableware and other items. Her brother helps her and her monthly profit is about $200. These kinds of goods are very popular among young ladies and all levels of women in Azerbaijan.
Alina is single, but her family supports her. She has 11 years of experience in this field and she would like expand her business and purchase more goods. She applied for a loan of 1,300 Azerbaijanian Manat (AZN) in order to increase her profit.
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.