Zarkhanim Q. is 55 years old. She is married and the loving mother of seven children! She started her business in order to help her husband with the household expenses, especially because it was very hard to cover the basic needs of such a large family. The main purpose of her hard work is to provide her children with a good education.
She started her business in 2004 after her cousin told her that the sale of women's clothing was a good business. Zarkhanim sells her goods in a small shop near her house. She shows very good taste in choosing the clothing she buys and amazing marketing skills in convincing her clients which clothing they should buy. She has applied for a loan of $1000 USD to expand her business by purchasing additional seasonal clothes.
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.