Firengiz is a 55-year-old women who is married with one daughter. For the past 20 years, she has been a vendor who sells different kind of goods, such as candy, cookies, butter, macaroni, and beverages, in her shop. Firengiz considers herself to be a knowledgeable and skilled person. The products she sells are very popular in Azerbaijan and quickly leave her shelves. She makes 200 AZN profit.
Firengiz is requesting a 1,000 AZN loan to purchase more merchandise for her shop. This will be her second loan and she has a good client history. Firengiz hopes to expand her business.
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.