Bahar is 57 years old and is married with four children. She sells food products, such as macaronis, butter, cookies, sugar, tea, candies, and beverages in her shop. Bahar has 24 years of experience in this field, which makes her a knowledgeable and skilled person.
The food product she sells is very popular among people and in high demand. Her monthly profit from selling food is 120 AZN. She is a very successful entrepreneur because of her good location in the central bazaar of her home city.
The profit she gains is not enough to reinvest into the business and covering customers` demands is impossible for this reason. Since this is her main source of income, her profit is used for family needs. Bahar would like to increase her sales and invest additional capital. For this purpose she applied for a loan of 2,000 AZN. She will purchase and diversify the foodstuffs she sells. This will be her fourth loan, and she has a good credit history.
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.