Nijat is 22 years old, married, and has two children. He is a very kind, hardworking, and passionate man. He raises and sells crops, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Nijat also raises fruits such as apples, pears, and pomegranates. After he finished school he chose not to follow his education and learned how to raise crops. He has three years of experience in this field.
Nijat usually sells his fruits and vegetables in the central bazaar. His monthly income is 250 AZN, which is not enough to cover the needs of his family.
To improve his business Nijat is requesting a loan for 1,000 AZN, which he will use to buy garden tools, fertilizers, and seeds. Fresh fruits 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, Dolma, is made of fresh eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes.
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.