Aytekin is a 44-year-old woman; she is married with three children. She is a nurse and works in the local hospital. However, her primary business is perfumery and jewellery. She decided to start this business 10 years ago when she understood that her salary as a nurse is not enough to cover the family's needs. Aytekin`s business brings her stable income of 120 AZN.
She sells her goods from her house. It is safe and popular among the neighboring women, who often come to her place to choose something from her products. Now she would like to increase her income and purchase more perfumery and jewellery as they are very popular. She applied for 1,500 AZN to purchase more merchandise and increase her sales. This will be her second loan; 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.