Khakim is 34 years old, married and makes a living by selling mobile phones and Sim cards. He also helps set up new devices and repair existing ones. He has been in this business for three years and earns about $250 a month. Khakim tries to use modern up-to-date technologies to satisfy his customers' demands and requirements. He is applying for a loan for 800 AZN to buy more Sim cards to sell and to improve his store.
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.