Gulshan is a hard-working woman who is married and has one child. For five years, she has been engaged in a farming business and cultivates fruits and vegetable crops. Gulshan is the main breadwinner, considering that her husband works as a construction workman and his monthly salary is 70 USD. The income she gains is about 250 USD per month. In this business her husband helps her in order to improve their standard of living.
The income she earns from this business allows her to take care of her family. Gulshan needs to buy seeds and organic fertilizer. Gulshan would like to get a loan of 1000 AZN for purchasing fertilizer for her land, which can allow her to get a good harvest. It is the first loan that she has requested and she hopes that lenders will support her.
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.