Shaiq R. is 18-years old. He sells pastries, cookies, candies, condensed milk, tea, eggs, washing powder, mayonnaise, and other materials in his store. He is not married but works hard to ensure a good future for his very old parents, who are on pension right now. He has been in the business for two years and has many loyal customers. He is the main provider for his family. He is requesting a loan of 1200 USD. He will use the loan to upgrade and enlarge his stock, which will enable him to increase his income. Sahiq thanks everyone for support and promises to pay the loan in time.
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.