Vusala is 34 years old and a widow, raising alone three daughters. She is a market vendor. After several years of attempts to find a job, she decided to start her business. She has four years of experience in the trading field.
She sells office supplies, which are very popular for offices and schools, as well as food products, in her shop. Her monthly income is 350 AZN. She applied for a 1000 AZN loan to purchase more merchandise for her shop's inventory, which will increase her sales. The products she sells are in very high demand, and Vusala wishes to meet her customers’ needs.
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.