Sudavar is a 48-year-old woman who has been selling food products in her shop for the last five years. She is married and has three children. Sudavar is an IDP (internally displaced person). Selling food is the only financial income in her family and it brings stable income of 300 AZN. Sudavar would like to expand her business and is applying for a loan of 1,000 AZN. She will use the loan to purchase more food products.
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.