Tanzila is a 40-year-old, hard-working woman. She is married, the mother of two children and the owner of a general store. Tanzila started her business 12 years ago with a little capital that her husband gave her. She sells general items. Her son helps out with the business. Both Tanzila and her husband work hard to ensure the success of the store.
Tanzila has used the help that she has received from the AqroInvest CU to purchase merchandise, especially cleaning products, which are unavailable in other establishments in this part of the city. Having added more stock, she will be able to attract more customers and increase business. With her earnings, Tanzila plans to carry out home improvements, little by little.
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.