Khanikishiyeva Balli is 35-year-old woman who has been selling dairy products for five years in her IDP settlement in Bilasuvar region . She sells milk and yogurt to the local bazaar traders and sometimes to neighbors. Her business is the only income source in her poor family. She tries very hard to cover her family's needs. She is requesting a loan of $1100 to purchase on milk cow and two calves so she can improve her 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.