Rafiqa is 47 years old and is a single woman who lives with her parents. She sells different home products such as buckets, basins, baskets, but her main business is working as a florist. Rafiqa has ten years of experience raising flowers and she knows every detail for any sort of flower. Her father helps her to raise flowers and to look after them. The products that she sells are in very high demand, and people in her village know about her experience and always come to her for advice. Rafiqa's monthly income is 300 AZN.
Rafiqa is requesting a 1,500 AZN loan to purchase more merchandise, seeds, fertilizer, and flower pots. This will be her second loan and she has good client history with AqroInvest CU.
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.