Rahila is a 60-year-old woman who lives in the Sabirabad district of Azerbaijan. She is not married and lives with her brother's family.
Rahila is a very hardworking woman. She engages in beekeeping. This is her second loan from Aqroinvest CU in the amount of 1,500 AZN. Rahila will use it to buy more bees because she wants to expand the business. She knows that she can earn more money for her family by selling honey because honey has a good price at the market. Besides that she has a plot of land by her home where she grows vegetables. She has been in this business for 18 years.
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.