Elchin is a 47-year-old man who is married and has three children. He sells fruit, such as pears, oranges, apples, pomegranates and bananas. With the help of AqroInvest CU, Elchin was able to start his own business. He has 10 years of experience and the reason he started his business was poor living conditions and unemployment.
Fruit is very popular among Azerbaijani people and in high demand during year. People like to eat fresh fruit, and this is one of the main desserts for guests. His shop is in the center of the bazaar and people always pass his shop and come in to buy some fresh fruit. His monthly income from this business is 200 AZN. Elchin's son helps him sell his fruit.
Elchin wants to expand his business. He does not have enough stock to meet the high demand. He would like to buy more fruit and vegetables and increase his turnover as well as improve life of his family. For this purpose he has applied for a loan of 1500 AZN. This will be his second loan and Elchin has good client history.
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.