Malik is a 56-year-old man. He is married and has two sons. Malik has owned and managed a grocery store for the last ten years. His store is located at the front of his house, and his wife actively helps him in his trading business. They are very hard-working people. By expanding the business he will be able to improve his family's quality of life. Malik feels happy because this is his fourth loan from AqroInvest and Kiva. He has requested a loan in the amount of 1800 AZN to renovate his store and expand his inventory.
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.