Arzu is a loving mother and hardworking housekeeper with a great desire to get ahead in life. Her great spirit, strong will and hard work have allowed her to improve her quality of life and that of her family.
For the past seven years, this persevering woman has been working very hard raising and selling cattle. With the income she generates, she provides a better quality of life for her daughter, who is her greatest joy.
She usually sells her cattle in the livestock bazaar once every three months. Her husband actively helps her in this hard business. Arzu asks for a loan of 1300 AZN in order to buy more young cattle to raise and sell when they are fully grown. With this investment she will be able to substantially grow her earnings and improve her quality of life.
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.