Lala is a 48-year-old single mother. For 10 years Lala has been operating her store. She usually sells products daily. There are tea, sugar, rice, candy, sauces, beans and other food items in her store. Single-handedly she has been managing this store and believes it is fun to have good contacts with customers.
Lala’s store is in the central market of Agjabadi. There are daily customers who come to purchase the items they need. Her monthly income from the business is about 250 AZN. With the money she gets from store she takes care of her parents and also supports her relatives financially. She is a person who always works hard in order to achieve more.
Lala has taken a loan once before from Aqroinvest. She has applied for a second loan of 1,800 AZN. With this money she plans to purchase more products, because very soon there is a big spring holiday. Nowruz is coming and a lot of customers purchase goods.
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.