Azar is a 24-year-old man. He lives together with his young wife and 6-month-old son. This young entrepreneurial man has been a locksmith since his father taught him. His locksmith studies also helped him. He caters to private homes and to businesses to do blacksmithing for them. He has many plans for the future. This is the second loan he requested from AqroInvest and Kiva. Azar plans to use the loan of 1500 AZN to purchase metals that he needs. He will improve his earnings with this help.
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.