Almaz is a farmer from Agsu. She is 56 years old and lives with her three children. Almaz is a widow. Her family is very close and they support one another.
Almaz and her son run an agricultural business. They own a plot of land where they grow fruit and vegetables. They sell vegetables and fruit in nearby villages. Almaz requested a loan for purchasing fertilizers and additional vegetables and fruit for sale. She has a good credit history and good morals. Her previous loan did her good, as through it she has gotten the economic resources she needed. She is certain that she will pay off the debt and at the same time give her family a better life.
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.