Mirshamil is a 52-year-old with two children. It is already 24 years that he has been growing fruits and vegetables and selling them. His wife stays at home, but is usually helping him. His business is profitable, but he needs money to make improvements.
Mirshamil has worked in agriculture since he was young, and it is his only source of income. He grows potatoes, tomatoes, and fruits and works whenever necessary. He wants to use the loan to add more stock of green vegetables, fruits, and cereals. He hopes to expand his business and give his children a quality education. His monthly profit from this business is 143 AZN. Mirshamil needs a AZN 2,000 loan to expand his business. It is his second credit. He hopes the loan will help him expand his business.
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.