Alirza R. is a 60-year-old man who is a pensioner. He raises wheat on his land with the help of his six children and wife. He believes one day his children will continue his business. He started his business more than 20 years ago. Alirza then sells the wheat to the local bread makers and local private bread factories. Alirza needs 1500 USD as a loan to increase his business. For the loan of 1500 USD, he is going to purchase more seeds to grow and fertilizer.
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.