Faris, age 45, sells fruit and vegetables at the bazaar. He has 20 years of experience and his monthly income is 110 AZN per month. He and his wife have a son and a daughter, and the son sometimes assists Faris in his business. Faris's wife is a homemaker.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are popular among Azeri people, who use them as ingredients in such dishes as jam, cakes, and pies. Fruits are also used to make fresh juices and stewed fruit dishes. Vegetables are used in a variety of soups, salads, and traditional dishes such as roasted eggplant.
This is Faris’s first loan from AqroInvest Credit Union. He has requested a 1000 AZN loan in order to expand his small business, since his current monthly income is not enough to cover his family's daily needs.
Faris's goal is to offer his children a quality education and to provide them a bright future.
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.