Ofeliya A. is 52 years old, the self-sacrificing mother of two sons. Her work as an agricultural laborer together with the low income of her husband and her very low pension as a former teacher is not enough to meet her goals. Ofeliya is requesting 1600 AZN to invest in purchasing cattle that will allow her to increase her earnings. This way she will be able to finish remodeling her home in order to give her son and his new wife a place to live. Ofeliya plans to collaborate in the busisness with her daughter-in-law and her mother.
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.