Xatira is a 33-year-old married woman. She lives with her husband and three school-aged children in an IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) settlement in Bilasuvar. Xatira breeds, fattens and sells animals, such as sheep, cattle and poultry. She uses the backyard of their house for her business, which she has developed over three years. Her customers know her as a person with a high sense of responsibility in her business dealings and always turn to her whenever they need her products.
Xatira asked for a loan in the amount of 1000 AZN to purchase about 10 sheep and mineral fertilizers. She is hoping to have a successful business in the future.
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.