Elvin is a 28 year old man who is very friendly and hard working. He is an IDP (internally displaced person) and lives with his wife and two daughters in Bilasuvar IDP Settlement. He is a farmer and has raised seasonal fruits and vegetables for the last 10 years. Elvin was unemployed and did not have an educational degree. When he got married he needed a financial resource to support his new family so he started his business.
Within two years Elvin gained enough skills and experience to run the business, thanks to his father`s experience. He chose this crop business because it is profitable and fresh fruits and vegetables are in high demand.
People use fresh vegetables every day and consider them healthy. Many national dishes are made of vegetables, like pilau and dolma. Fresh fruits are served on every table in Azerbaijan families and also make fresh punch. Elvin usually sells his crops in the central bazaar. His monthly income is 120 AZN.
As his products are in high demand, Elvin wants to expand his business and produce more fruits and vegetables to cover market demand and to increase his monthly income. For this purpose he has applied for a loan of 1000 AZN. He will buy new garden tools, seeds and fertilizers.
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.