Zahir is a 39-year-old pensioner. He is married and has a son and two daughters. His wife is a housekeeper and brings up the children while the head of family works. He sells fruits (pineapples, bananas, oranges, etc.) at the local bazaar and works in this field for 19 years. His monthly income from selling fruits is AZN 150.
People know that fruits are very useful for health and buy them often. They like to eat them fresh or make different kinds of juice. Local restaurants know that Zahir’s fruits are always fresh and delicious. That’s why they are his constant clients.
Unfortunately, Zahir’s fruit assortment isn’t diverse enough. He has applied for an AZN 2,000 loan in order to deliver more fruits for his greengrocery. This is his third loan, and he has a good client 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.