Azar is a 40-year-old man who is engaged in farming and has 6 years experience in this field. He is an IDP (internally displaced person). Azar is married and has two children. He usually raises and sells seasonal fruits and vegetables in the local, central bazaar. His monthly income is 230 AZN. His wife actively helps him to run the business and this is the only financial income in their family. Azar applied for 1500 AZN to purchase seeds and fertilizer. He has a good client history and this will be his second loan.
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.