Nakhida is a 44-year-old woman who has been engaged in milk and dairy product sales for the last 20 years. She is an IDP* (internally displaced person). Nakhida is married and has four children. Milk and yogurt are very popular products among Azerbaijani people and they use it in everyday life. Her son helps her to run the business. Monthly income from her business is 300 AZN. Now she has two milking cows and she would like to purchase two more.
*Internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who is forced to flee his or her home in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border thus remaining within his or her country.
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.