Ali is a 21-year-old young, single man who lives with his parents. He is the owner of barber shop and has two years of experience in this field. Even though he has been in this business for only two years, he already has a lot of customers. He says that secret of his success is his friendliness and professionalism. His monthly income is 250 AZN. He wants to get married next yea,r and wedding expenses will be high. Hence, he needs to increase his income. For this purpose, he has applied for a loan of 1,000 AZN to buy new working tools and improve his work conditions.
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.