Qilman, age 43, is a farmer. His agricultural business provides him with the means to meet the needs of his family: he earns about $160 USD from selling his crops. He and his wife have three sons, one of whom helps him to run the business.
Qilman owns a large piece of land where he cultivates different kinds of vegetables and fruits, but due to the poor quality of the soil and the problem of insects, he is no longer able to satisfy market demand.
Qilman is very hard-working and determined, and he is asking for a loan of 1,000 AZN in order to buy seeds, fertilizer, and working tools. The loan will greatly improve Qilman’s income and his family's living standards.
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.