Radim is a 31-year-old man, married with two children. He is a blacksmith and has five years of experience in this field. He takes orders from customers, and makes roofs, doors, gates and windows. His father taught him skills and now he is helping Radim.
His monthly income is 100 AZN, but he wants to increase it because it is not enough to cover the needs of his family. Hence, he applied for 800 AZN to purchase working materials to complete orders and increase his turnover. He promises to pay back on time.
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.