Zamin F. is a young, energetic man. At the early age of 17, he started his own business in order to support his parents. His business is selling food products such as eggs, soft drinks, and so on in the southern city of Azerbaijan. His store is located next to his house so he is always near his parents. This business allows him not only to support his family, but also to continue his University education. Zamin needs to increase the variety of goods he sells and is asking for a loan of US $1,200 with a term of 15 months. This loan will allow him to expand his business and earn more income. This loan will be important to the growth of Zamin’s business.
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.