Elman is 34, a very courageous man who can manage tough jobs like fishing. He is the father of four children and has the responsibility of supporting his family and providing them with everything that they need. In spite of his difficult economic situation, after much time Elman was able to get ahead through his business of purchasing and breeding fish. His greatest goal is to improve his economic situation and provide a better way of life for his family. Elman is a fisherman and usually buys fish from fish vendors early in the morning. He works seven days per week without weekends and holidays because fish is in very high demand among local people. For this reason, Elman applied for 1,000 AZN loan to purchase more fish for his breeding 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.