Yegana is a 41-year-old woman who is married with five children. She is an internally displaced person (IDP) and lives with her family in an IDP settlement. She has her own small drug store where she has been selling medicine for the last seven years. She is an experienced and skilled person in this field. She is also a cleaner in the local school and her monthly salary is about 30 AZN.
Yegana usually sells the most necessary medicine in the central bazaar. Her monthly income is 340 AZN. She sells only certified drugs.
She needs additional capital to invest in her business. This will allow her to improve the quality of the products she sells and increase monthly turnover. For this purpose, she applied for a loan of 1,500 AZN. This will be her 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.