Xayala is a 29-year-old woman who is married with two children. She is a very kind and responsible woman. She raises fruits and vegetables in her garden and has been doing so for the last 3 years. She is a very experienced farmer and has deep knowledge of the land and how to operate it. A poor financial situation and unemployment have pushed her to start her business.
Xayala usually raises seasonal fruits and vegetables and sells them for a profitable price in the central bazaar. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very popular and are in high demand because people prefer to eat them every day and consider them very healthy. Also, one of the favorite national dishes is dolma, which is made of fresh eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes. Fresh juices are most likely made from fresh fruits. Xayala's monthly income from this business is 250 AZN. This is the only source of income for her family.
Now Xayala would like to invest more capital into her business and purchase seeds and fertilizers. For this purpose, she has applied for a loan of 1000 AZN. This is the only source of income for her family and she hopes this loan will improve the lives of her family.
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.