Babak is a 46-year-old trader who sells beverages and food. He has five years of experience in this field. Babak is very polite and friendly and his attitude to customers makes his business very successful. His monthly income from his business is 300 Azerbaijani manats (AZN). He is married and has four children. He wishes to increase his income which will allow him to improve life conditions of his family. For this purpose he applied for a loan for 1700 AZN. He will use the loan to purchase and diversify goods in his shop. This will be his third loan and he has a good credit history.
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.