Sabira started her own small grocery business about five years ago. She operates her store from a building on property she and her husband own. She sells food products such as butter, salt, beverages and candies. Her monthly profit is about 130 AZN, which is too low to cover the needs of her two sons. This business is the only income for Sabira`s family. Sabira requested a loan of 1,000 AZN to make some improvements to her store and purchase more foodstuffs. These investments will help Sabira as she continues to develop and expand 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.