Balli is a 28-year-old entrepreneur who is engaged in the poultry breeding business. She has 4 years of experience in this field. She breeds chicken and turkey. Her monthly income from this business is 200 AZN. She is an IDP* and lives with her husband and three sons in the Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. Balli is a good client of AqroInvest and this will be her fourth loan.
*An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who has been forced to flee his or her home due to armed conflict, violence, human rights violations, or natural or manmade disasters, but who, unlike a refugee, has not crossed an international border (source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
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.