Xatgul is a 50-year-old wonam and the lovely mother of three children. She is a hard-working businesswoman who runs a clothing business. Xatgul offers dresses, pants, and underwear. Xatgul has been operating the business for last five years. This is her first loan from AqroInvest and Kiva. She plans to use the loan to buy more clothing material. The extra income from this loan will allow her to improve her standard of living. In the future, Xatgul plans to enlarge her store.
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.