Zulayya is 37 years old, and a married mother of three children. She sells a variety of products in her shop, such as sugar, sweets, dish washer, and shampoo. Her husband is a driver. She has eight years of experience in the shopkeeping field. People in her town are the regular customers for purchasing food products and other available items at the store. Her monthly profit from selling products is 150 AZN.
Her elder son helps her to sell products in the shop. She is a very successful entrepreneur, because of the shop's good location in the bazaar of her home city. Zulayya wants to expand her business and to buy more products, because this business is only one financial income in her family. For this purpose, she applied for a loan of 1,900 AZN. She has a good client history; this will be her fourth loan.
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.