Qorkhmaz, age 41, is a market vendor. He has been selling fruit for 12 years, during which time he has acquired the knowledge and skills required for making the business a success. For instance, he knows how to store the fruits so as to keep their marketable conditions so as not to lose their taste and other desirable properties.
He sells items like apples, peaches, and pomegranates in the local central market, but now, in summer, he mostly sells watermelon and other melons, the most popular summer fruits among local people. In the market he is known for his attractive prices and his friendliness. This allows Qorkhmaz’s business to generate a considerable stable income for his family. Qorkhmaz is married and has four children.
He is requesting a loan of 1,000 AZN, which will allow him to purchase more fruits to offer for sale. He is confident that this will allow him to increase his profit and expand his 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.