Yashar is a 31 year old man, married with one son. He grows fruits and vegetables in his garden, something he has been doing for the last 8 years. He is very experienced, as a farmer, and has deep knowledge of the land and how to operate it. He was not able to finda job for several years and decided to start his own business.
Yashar usually raises seasonal fruits and vegetables and sells them for profitable prices in the central bazaar. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very popular and in high demand because people prefer to eat them every day and consider them very healthy. Also, one of the favorite national dishes is Dolma, a dish made of fresh eggplants, peppers and tomatoes. His monthly income from this business is 350 AZN. Yashar`s wife is working as school teacher and also helps her husband.
Now Yashar would like to invest more capital into his business and purchase seeds and fertilizers. For this purpose he has applied for 1200 AZN. This is only one source of income for his family and he hopes that this loan will improve the quality of life for his family. This will be his 3rd loan and he has a good credit 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.