Ismayil is 39 years old and the married father of four children. He is a barber and owns his own barber shop on the central street of his home town. He has 10 years of experience in this field. Ismayil usually has about 5-7 clients a day and his monthly income is about 100 AZN.
Ismayil applied for a loan of 1,100 AZN to purchase better tools and make small renovations in his barber shop. This will be his second 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.