Farqana is married, 48 years old, and has 2 sons. She has a shop where she sells various items, such as plates, cups, vases and porcelain items. She has been running this business for 20 years. She gets support from her husband in the shop. Farqana is a good saleswoman, because she has dedicated herself to this business from her youth.
Farqana's shop is in the central bazaar. Here she has customers who purchase these products, according to their tastes. In Azerbaijan families like to decorate their houses with such glass items. Especially newly married couples purchase a variety of these products to furnish their guest rooms.
Farqana has taken four loans from AqroInvest previously. This time she requires 2000 AZN in order to buy the latest sets of glass products like plates, vases, bowls, etc. She wants to expand her business in future and supply neighboring towns with those products.
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.