Sakhavaddin is a 49-year-old man who sells fruits and vegetables as well as greens in the central market of Agsu. He has five years of experience in this business. His monthly income from this business is 250 AZN. He is married and has three children. Sakhavaddin has already demonstrated himself as a good client with a positive credit history. Now he has applied for a 1500 AZN loan to purchase more food products and build a shop because sales in the open air in winter is very hard.
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.