Rovshan is a 42-year-old man. He is married and has two children. He sells seasonal fruit such as pears, oranges, apples, pomegranates and bananas. He has 15 years of experience and the reason to start his business was poor living conditions and a low pension.
Fruit is very popular among Azerbaijan people and in high demand during the year. People like to eat it fresh and this is one of the main desserts for guests. His shop is located in a center bazaar and people always pass his shop and come to buy some fresh fruit. His monthly income from this business is 180 AZN. Rovshan's brother helps him to sell fruit.
Rovshan wants to expand his business. The amount of products he sells is not enough to cover the high demand. He would like to purchase more fruit and vegetables and increase his turnover as well as improve the life of his family. For this purpose he applied for a 1000 AZN loan.
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.