Tahir is 51 years old, married and the father of two children. Tahir is very popular in his region as a good merchant. He is selling pots and pans in his market. He has 20 years of experience in this field. His wife stays at home but sometimes she also helps him to sell goods. The products that his customers like best are those that are used in the kitchen like pots, utensils, pans, buckets, etc. His profit from this business is 150 AZN.
His shop hours are from eight o'clock in the morning until ten o'clock at night. It is the only business specializing in this sector and there are no other similar shops. He feels happy because thanks to his work, he gets a sense of fulfillment. He really wants to continue working and to be able to 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.