Ulkar is a 25-year-old married woman with two children. Ulkar and her husband have a great desire to educate their son and daughter because next year they are going to school. To make a living, Ulkar raises a garden, and she earns 200 AZN monthly with this work. Within five years of beginning farming she has been able to pay school fees for her children. Ulkar requested a loan of 1000 AZN to buy seedlings for planting this season. She is a new member of AqroInvest CU and this is her first loan. In the future, Ulkar plans to improve their house to live conveniently. Within five years of beginning farming she has been able to pay school fees for her children.
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.