Jamaladdin is fifty-five and married with two children. He cultivates fruit and vegetables in his garden and has been doing it for the last twenty-five years. He is a very experienced farmer and has a deep knowledge of land and how to operate it.
Jamaladdin usually grows seasonal fruit and vegetables and sells them for profitable price in the central bazaar. Fresh fruit and vegetables are very popular and in high demand because people prefer to eat them every day and consider them very healthy. Also one of the favorite national dishes of Azerbaijan is Dolma, which is made from fresh eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. His monthly income from this business is 300 AZN. This is his sole source of income for his family.
Now Jamaladdin would like to invest more capital into his business and purchase seeds and fertilizers as well as more fruit and vegetables to sell. For this purpose he has applied for a loan of 1000 AZN. This is the only source of income for his family and so he hopes this loan will improve the life of his family. This will be his second loan and he has a good credit history.
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.