Idris M. is a hard-working man who strives every day to provide for his entire family, which consists of his wife and three children. He manages a grocery store where he sells many staples, such as bread, juice, sweets, and other preserved foods. Although he started this business only six years ago with less than $100, Idris has attracted a strong base of customers who are impressed by his efforts to travel to neighboring cities to purchase especially valuable items. In order to purchase additional foodstuffs and increase his inventory, Idris is requesting 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.