Zulfali is a 60-year-old, married man with three children. He is a market vendor; specifically, he sells different kind of goods such as flour, beverages, macaroni, butter and candy. He has seven years of experience in this business and therefore has a great deal of knowledge about the market and the demands of customers. Zulfali is a very successful entrepreneur, partly because of his shop's great location in the central bazaar of his home town.
Food products he sells are very popular among the local people and are in high demand. His monthly profit from selling various foods is approximately 300 AZN. His son helps him purchase products and bring them to the shop. He is the sole source of income for his family.
He applied for a loan in the amount of 1,500 AZN to purchase more food products and to diversify the range of goods to satisfy his customers` demands.
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.