Ismayil M., 35, is married and has two children. He is a policeman in the Bilasuvar region where is living now. His main financial income comes from selling dairy products as milk and yoghurt to the local people and factories. He started his business in 1999 when his family conditions were very bad and his salary wasn't enough to purchase the necessary food products. With the help of his relatives, he built a good business. But time passed, prices for everything increased, and his business needs to expand. For this purpose Ismayil applied for a loan of $1200 USD.
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.