Aynura is a 37-year-old woman who raises and sells fruits and vegetables. She is a farmer and market vendor at the same time. She is married and has two children. She has 12 years of experience in raising crops. She usually sells them from her yard and from her shop. Her monthly income is 120 Azerbaijani New Manat (AZN).
Raising crops takes a lot of strength and requires physical work, which is hard for one woman; hence, her husband helps her to raise crops and take them to the shop. She raises cucumbers, tomatoes, pears, potatoes, carrots, apples, cherries and onions.
She applied for a 1,500 AZN loan to purchase seeds and fertilizers to improve the quality of her land. This will be her second loan, and she has a 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.