Rafiqa is a 52-year-old woman. She is a market vendor and sells different kinds of products, such as office supplies, some candies, toys, and candles. She has eight years of experience and has deep knowledge of the market and the demand of clients.
The products she sells are very popular among people and in high demand. Her monthly profit from selling foods is AZN 150.
Her husband is sick and can need care, that’s why her brother helps to purchase products and bring them to the shop. This is the sole income in her family. She is a very successful entrepreneur because of a good location, in the central bazaar of her home city.
Rafiqa applied for an AZN 2,000 loan to purchase more merchandise and to diversify the range of goods to cover her customers' demands. She has a long loan history with Aqroinvest Credit Union and has proven herself to be a trusted and good client.
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.