Zaur is 22 years old, an entrepreneur and a single man. He has three years of experience in selling women's clothes, thanks to his father who taught him a lot about managing the business. He started his business after several failures to enter university after school. He decided that establishing his own business is more profitable than getting information over the next four years. He has his own shop in the bazaar and he renews his stock every month. His monthly income is 130 AZN. He says that the stock he renews every month is not enough, and he needs more investments to cover his customers' demand.
To satisfy the needs of his customers, he applied for 1000 AZN. He will use this loan to purchase a new seasonal collection of women's clothes and increase his sales.
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.