Vusal J. is a 29-year-old trader who sells different kinds of goods, such as candies, tea, cookies, pasta, shampoo, detergent and soap. Vusal has four years of experience in this field. He is married and has two children.
Vusal runs his own store, which he built a year ago owing to his hard work and ability to save money. His monthly income is 400 AZN and he wishes to increase it to 700 AZN. For this purpose, he has applied for a 1,000 AZN loan to increase number of products he sells.
Vusal wishes to build another, bigger shop as soon he can save enough. He believes the new loan will bring well-being to his two children.
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.