Zarqalam is 37 years old with 3 children. She has been growing vegetables and fruits for more than 7 years now. She is very hardworking and passionate in her work. She considers it fun to grow potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruit trees with her husband. She sells her crops in the central bazaar to earn profits in order to support her family.
Zarqalam’s income from her business is 350 AZN. In order to improve the living conditions of her family, she plans to expand her business. This requires a lot of dedication and effort. She believes in the near future her son will help her to grow the business bigger. Since her vegetable and fruit business is a profitable and fun business, she wants the business to continue and prosper.
She has already taken out 2 loans from Aqroinvest in the past. With a good loan history, she has applied for a third loan of 2,000 AZN. With this money, she wants to invest in the business and buy more fruit trees in order to generate more revenue.
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.